Mad Like Alyce

Maybe Being Oneself is Always an Acquired Taste

I recently ran into this quote from Patricia Hampl.

“Maybe being oneself is always an acquired taste.”

Reading it almost took my breath away, as it so perfectly illustrated something I had been struggling with recently. Actually, struggling with my whole life, and very specifically, today.

My Most Recent Introversion Crash: I.E. Today

I came across the quote in a book on introversion that had been recommended to me by a professional mentor. The book specifically is “The Introvert Advantage: How to thrive in an extrovert world.” If you haven’t guessed, I am very much an introvert. In tests, I often come close to straddling the line, but when it comes down to where I get my energy and what drains it…. I’m an introvert through and through.

Quick update on the last week for me. My company was doing a challenge where you could put together a project, present it, and the winning project received $2,000. To me, it was the perfect amount… after the last three years of having doled out more than $6000 in medical expenses each year and having just under $2K left to go until I am in the clear, I felt this was the perfect timing. Meant to be. And I jumped headfirst into my project. I actually had a blast working on it, and realized that I need to find a way to incorporate more writing or design or something creative into my existing workload. It was the most fun I had had in awhile.

But being a perfectionist combined with my incredible talent at procrastination, I went down to the wire, spending over 40 hours to get it ready in just 3 days. Needless to say, I overextended myself. And I knew that I was going to have some sort of crash, but wasn’t quite prepared for just how hard this one might be. During those 3 days, I ate miserably, nursing my stress with excess calories. I swear, if I could just kick that habit I could be set for life! Then, being exhausted and anxious after the presentation, I decided to bake off my stress and use up the huge pile of apples Damir had picked over the weekend. Applesauce, apple muffins, and apple pie. The house smelled wonderful! But I was stuffed, and honestly, a little disgusted with myself.

The Inevitable Crash

This morning, I woke up with proof that I had done myself a doozy. Even without the raging migraine, the thought of having to get up, walk the dog, and make breakfast was too much to handle, much less go into work. I managed to get a text off to my boss and get a meeting rescheduled, and I crashed out for another 3 hours. And when I woke up, I felt terrible. Headache hangover (that ghostly disconnectedness) plus all of my overeating in the past 3-4 days, and I felt fat, sweaty, un-showered, lazy, and pissed. I was so frustrated and miserable in that moment that I could have just cried. I then tried to feel better by eating 3 muffins. It worked for all of 2.5 minutes. approx.

Oh, and in terms of the competition, I didn’t win. I was crushed. And I still am. But, I also know that the others moving forward also worked hard on their projects. They also have just as much of a need for that income. It wasn’t meant for me. But it didn’t take away the physical effects of overexerting myself. After finally having a good cry in the shower, I came out clean and ready to get a grip. The Introvert Advantage was laying on the top of the bookshelf… a reminder that I had promised to read it in Q3. I was expecting to read a lot about what I already knew about introversion. But I wasn’t expecting that quote.

The Actual Point of this Post

I had struggled all day with my frustration at having overeaten myself massively in the past few days. In general, I really do feel beautiful. I know I am overweight. My younger self might have been horrified at how I look now. But I have come a long way in accepting who I am. I also haven’t. See, I can love the way I look, and hate it at the same time. I want to be healthier. I know that the more weight I can lose, the less weight is being carried by my weak and damaged back, and the better I will feel. But I also want to love the way I look now. I have taken huge strides in this over the summer, finally ditching uncomfortable clothes because they “held me in” or “hid the fat.” The truth is, I’m overweight, and I’m still really beautiful. I can be both. I know I am both. But I still have to work on allowing myself to feel both.

My Struggles, Another’s Journey

Its also funny, because I had mentioned that I hid out in the kitchen during my time in Pine Ridge. If you have PTSD, you know how much other people’s struggles and emotions can greatly impact your own. And the struggles out there were almost too much for me. Even hiding out, I did actually make one connection… not to one of the Native youth, but to one I was serving with.

There was a highschool girl out at Pine Ridge with me that was a bit reserved, but had an incredible smile when she did show it, and when she laughed, you couldn’t miss it. I noticed that as a vegetarian, she didn’t have a lot of food options with the meals that had been planned for the week, so I started asking her if I could make her an extra grilled cheese sandwich or pasta to make sure she had enough food.

What I hadn’t noticed immediately was that her clothes hung off her. Or that she was wearing long sleeves in 100+ degree weather. I instead noticed her quirky facial expressions, and beautiful smile. After offering to make her special meals for the week, one of her group leaders let me know just how much it meant to her. See, without my even realizing, she was a recovering anorexic, who was within 5lbs of her healthy weight. She also had a problem with her self image, and with that an issue with self harm. She had been struggling because she really wanted to get to her  goal weight, but didn’t have a lot of healthy options, and hardly any vegetarian food options.

This beautiful young girl struggled with so much pain because of weight, but I thought she was so beautiful for all of the reasons people should. And here I am, struggling at the other end of the scale and I am acutely aware of how difficult that struggle is.

Maybe what I have been struggling with over that past 6 months… this weird, “I love my body but still want to lose weight,” and, “I want to feel fashionable but still be comfortable,” internal debate is just that…. I’m finally starting to acquire a taste. To accept who I really am. So maybe this is it, the Summer of Acquired tastes. The summer I started to actually enjoy dry wine, and actually started to love who I am.

Hello!

Hi! I'm Alyce.
Welcome to my journey towards living a happier and healthier life while living with PTSD and chronic pain... and never letting it keep me from my passion for Halloween, cooking, and way too many DIY projects... all at the same time!

Instagram

  • Hey Guys! I've been quiet on Insta so far this October, but its because IM SO BUSY and i'm pretty much in Halloween Heaven. Between finishing my first commissioned costume (its super simple, but I completed foam armor for the first time!!!) and doing makeup at the haunted house, i've hardly had time for sleep... and I wouldn't have it any other way. 
This is one of my first clown practice runs. I tried doing 30 minutes or less, and initially I wasn't planning on posting. Having a few days of the crazed makeup chaos that is getting ready for house open under my belt, I have a new appreciation for what details you can and simply cannot complete in such a short time period, and kind of like the grunge this clown pulled off. Not everything you will create is perfect, but thats how we all learn! #clowns #hauntedhouse #halloweenmakeup #halloween2018
  • I think this barrel look could make a great clown character.... am I going over to the dark side and starting to like clowns?!?! Only time will tell, and there are still 20 days until Halloween! #nightmarebeforechristmas #halloweentown #lockshockandbarrel
  • "I say that we take a cannon, aim it at his door
And then knock three times
And when he answers
Sandy Claws will be no more!"
The props for Barrel were actually my favorite, even if they are a bit cheesy, and make this costume all the more fun. I'll have to keep an eye out for a skeleton costume this year... I would like to do this one again! #nightmarebeforechristmas #halloweentown #lockshockandbarrel
  • "We're his little henchmen and
We take our job with pride
We do our best to please him
And stay on his good side"
#Nightmarebeforechristmas #halloweentown #lockshockandbarrel
  • I am SO FREAKING PLEASED with this makeup... and I have no justification for why I love Barrel more than Shock... Could be the fun loving character or just that the colors popped more in these photos. Or maybe these clown-like looks are starting to grow on me.... #nightmarebeforechristmas #halloweentown #lockshockandbarrel
  • "Jack said, "We should work together"
Three of a kind
Birds of a feather
Now and forever
Wheeee!!!"
Those poor red eyes! Thats not fx eye-blood... it's what happens when you do too many makeups close together... this stuff can be hell on your skin! They didn't look this red in all of the photos, but they sure felt like it. I have since invested in a serious eye cream... its only one week into October! #redeyes #muaproblems #nightmarebeforechristmas #lockshockandbarrel
  • "Kidnap Mr. Sandy Claws
I wanna do it
Let's draw straws"
Maybe it is because this is my shortest wig or just the color palette, but I feel like my Shock makeup came across a bit like Beast Boy from Teen Titans... what do you think? #nightmarebeforechristmas #lockshockandbarrel #teentitans
  • "He'II be so pleased by our success
That he'll reward us too, I bet
Perhaps he'll make his special brew
Of snake and spider stew!"
One last shot of Lock... three guesses what the next one is, and the first two don't count ;) #nightmarebeforechristmas #lockshockandbarrel #halloweentown
  • "First, we're going to set some bait
Inside a nasty trap and wait
When he comes a-sniffing we will
Snap the trap and close the gate"
Ok, i couldn't wait to post this shot with the goofy masks I made 2 years ago... Im obsessed with this gorgeous wig from Webster Wigs. It's seriously my favorite. Speaking of the mask, Im excited to get these new pics posted on the blog, because the makeup and mask pics are super cheesy. It makes me proud to see how much I have improved in both makeup and prop-making in just a few years. #muapassion #lockshockandbarrel #nightmarebeforechristmas

@madlikealyce

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