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

  • Sticking with my winter theme, it’s Frosty! Ok, this one is a great example of why I love the internet. I saw an AMAZING frosty photo on an Instagram feature account and took a screenshot because I was dying to recreate it. Normally I make sure I have the artists handle in the screenshot so I can tag them if I ever do try it, but somehow missed it this time. To find her, I took to YouTube to find @victorialyn ’s tutorial, and I’m completely blown away with not only the makeup, but the production quality of her videos. I know how much time and effort something like that takes and they are so much fun to watch, even if you don’t plan on doing the makeup in the tutorial. I love finding new artists to follow and be inspired by! #frosty #frostythesnowman #winter
  • The last look at my Frostbite! What other injury makeups could be considered "Holiday"? or at least timely for winter? Or should I do something more glam next? I have half a mind to save more gory winter looks for January when i'm no longer feeling the warm and fuzzies when it snows! #winter #frostbite #frostbitemakeup #sfx #sfxmua
  • "Walking in a Winter Wonderland"
Im really pleased with how this turned out! I know it's no super glamorous but creating actual injuries and skin conditions is a great challenge. I'll spare you the reference material, but it was fun trying to re-create the blistering, as gross as that sounds. Stay warm my friends! #frostbite #frostbitemakeup #winterwonderland #sfxmakeup #sfxmua
  • "Baby it's cold outside."
This look inspired by a 3 hour drive in a blizzard last weekend. It actually wasn't too bad, mostly just excruciatingly slow, but living in SD, I know how dangerous it can be going off the road in bad conditions. #frostbite #SFX #sfxmakeup #brrrrrr #sfxwound
  • “Oh Chucky look at us. We belong dead”
Last one of Tiffany.... which iconic horror villain should I do next? Tell me your favorites! #horrormovies #brideofchucky #tiffanyvalentine #chucky #brideofchuckymakeup #horrorfan
  • “I’ll kill anybody, but I’ll only sleep with someone I love.”
A girl has to have standards!!! 😂
Personally I loved Jennifer Tilly as Tiffany Valentine, how about you? #brideofchucky #tiffanyvalentine #chucky #chuckycosplay
  • "Barbie, eat your heart out."
You can't do Chucky without Tiffany! I apparently have super thick eyebrows because I felt they were incredibly difficult to cover properly, though I probably just need more practice blocking them out. I also know the doll didn't have bangs, but the actress did, so I felt like this blonde wig still did the trick. #brideofchucky #chucky #brideofchuckymakeup #tiffanyvalentine #cosplay
  • This anatomy work was a ton of fun to do! I might have to try something like it again soon. I also liked that I could keep it on much longer than I do any of my face makeup, and even left it on overnight (with liberal amounts of barrier spray) to show family the next day. I usually have to wash it off and head to bed, so it was a rare treat to show it to others! #bodyartist #anatomyart #anatomymakeup #sciencenerd
  • My first look over 200 likes!! 🤩🤩 Seriously, I 💜you guys, and it couldn’t be on a more special makeup to me. I’ve wanted to do this makeup for awhile now, because I actually struggle greatly with my hands. While this isn’t 100% anatomically correct, all of the structures in my wrists that I have had surgery on (on both hands!) are here. Because of a neck injury when I was young, I’ve had a ton of nerve and tendon issues stemming from where in my neck was damaged and I’m lucky to have had good surgeons and insurance to do what was necessary to keep me healthy. I do have to do a lot to keep my hands and arms in the best of shape (daily stretches, wearing braces at night, KT tape) but I’m so thankful that I can keep doing the things I love... like doing makeup! #chronicpain #chronicpainwarrior #anatomyart #anatomymakeup #bodypaint

@madlikealyce

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