Mad Like Alyce

You SHOULD take care of yourself

In the past few weeks, I have started to notice my control over my triggers slipping. Nothing major, no blowouts. Just that feeling… the one where I feel like I am one step ahead of falling apart. That I have to keep spinning or I will collapse, like a toy top. That I am barely hanging onto the cliff of sanity. I used to feel like this 24/7. The difference this time is that it felt off, that I knew something was wrong. What that is, I couldn’t tell you.

The Signs

What I noticed first was my behavior changing. In the past two weeks, I have been more of a shut in. Instead of going to the gym or getting things done, I curl up in my bed with Mystic. Not reading, not listening to music or watching TV. Just laying there, too paralyzed by anxiety to do anything. And angry at myself because I know I SHOULD be doing something. That there are too many things I SHOULD be doing.

This feeling has left me feeling panicy, out of control. Jumpy, like a scared animal. But this time around, I have tried to employ some different tactics to process what I am feeling. The first was this pressure of all the things I SHOULD be doing. In my counseling, I used this word a lot. How I felt that I SHOULD be able to behave like a NORMAL person. Over time, I have been doing a really good job of letting this go, and perhaps a big portion of what I am struggling with is that I have fallen back into the old habit of holding myself accountable against this impossible list of what I SHOULD do. And, I have realized, this list is crushing me.

Don’t cut your slices too thin

My mom has always told me that I “cut my pie into too many slices.” Or basically, I have so many things going on that I don’t have enough energy to fully devote to each task. Nobody gets a full slice. And when you have chronic pain or PTSD, you really do have to be careful how you spend your energy. It just takes us twice as long to refill that reserve. It all started when I decided to power through a work project In my most recent crash, I knew I would be spending that reserve and that I would have to pay the penalty. The crash ended up being more than I was betting on, and frankly, I think i’m still reeling from the aftereffects. You think I would be onto this by now… lack of total energy = lack of ability to deal with triggers. Yet here I am. Struggling. Feeling like I SHOULD have known better, I SHOULD have protected myself from this. That I have myself to blame.

Now, I know better. It doesn’t keep me from reeling on the physical effects of it, however. The difference is knowing what is happening. A year ago, an episode like this would have left me a mess, terrified, not knowing what the hell was happening to me. Feeling like this is NOT NORMAL. Now I know that what I am experiencing IS normal. Normal for PTSD. Its ok, because even though this moment sucks, these few days suck, maybe even the next week will suck, it will pass. I will be ok. This process IS NORMAL.

And because of this, I decided to say hang all of the crap on my list that I SHOULD do. I am going to take a good hard list of everything I have committed to, and be honest with those I committed that time to. Tell them that I simply cannot do it for a week. For a month. Or ever. Be honest that I overcommitted myself. I need to start slicing my pie in larger pieces, because, lets be real, who doesn’t want the biggest piece of pie? And if it’s my pie… I kind of want to have the biggest slice for myself.

You SHOULD take time for yourself

So yesterday, I decided to take care of myself. I ate a huge bowl of cereal for supper so I wouldn’t have to make anything. I lay in my bed with my neck pillow and heating pad, snuggled Mystic, and binge watched stand up comedy specials until I felt better. I didn’t do a productive thing all night. I left the to do list untouched, the dishes in the sink, and the clothes on the floor. I lay in the bed and talked to my dad on the phone for an hour. And then I went to sleep. It was beautiful. You SHOULD do it too!

Ive actually thought a lot about a friend who recently cashed out a savings fund and quit her job for six months. It just floored me. All I can think about is how I could really make some progress on my life if I could just have a month off. That I could be such a healthier person with a significant chunk of time off. If I could just take some time for me, guilt free! Just think of what I could accomplish! If I could just win the lottery….

But I also know that for almost everyone, myself included, that just simply isn’t an option. What we can do is take a hard look at our lives, and how to make that list healthier for you. So write that list that is weighing you down… its time to prune. When you only have so much energy, you have to make sure that what you are putting on your plate is manageable. Its like a financial budget. Sometimes you might have to dip into your savings, but if  your plate is manageable, you can slowly put that energy back into savings before you need to dip in again. And if you find you are dipping more than you are replacing, its time to cut something from your plate. It might feel like failure at first, but the weight lifting off of your shoulders will more than make up for that feeling and let you allocate those slices of pie to things that make you happy. Like eating pie. Im really hungry right now…

Bake a pie you actually want to eat

You can make a list of everything you have to do. Everything that stresses you out or that is weighing on your mind. Look at what you can do to remove those stressors. Some will be easier, such as you need to clean out the garage. Block off a Saturday and stick to that commitment! It could be that you have a ton of paperwork to deal with. Take an evening to divide it into piles of easy to hard, or things that need immediate attention and those that can be handled next week. Organize chores into a priority list, and tackle them in that order.

For others, it could be far more complicated, such as how you are so frustrated about your weight gain because your job is too stressful (read, two intertwined problems). You could start hunting for a new job. Or you could start smaller. What is causing stress at work? Can you talk to a manager, escalate the situation to someone better equipped to deal with it, offload it to someone else, or work on setting a more realistic schedule? Are there ways to help you better manage the stress, such as breathing techniques, getting away from the office during lunch, or doing yoga, reading, insert enjoyable activity here?

We may not be able to take six months off, but maybe, its time to change our lives so we don’t have to. Personally, with so much of my mind dedicated to staying on top of my triggers… i’m ready to have more energy so that the things I SHOULD do are those that bring me joy and not those that bring me down.


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!

Costume & Makeup Tutorials


  • "Sometimes, you just want things to stay the way they are forever. But you can’t. And they won’t." - Girl in Space

Because i'm trying this thing where I post each look in 3's to keep my Insta page even, and I seriously can't express how hauntingly gorgeous the intros are for each Girl in Space episode. I'm re-listening to the episodes now, and I so excited for 109 since I have NO CLUE what is going to happen! Also, after a few weeks without looking at them, this is one of my favorite pictures, and I can't believe I didn't post it first!
  • "Yeah, I’m glad I’m back, too." Episode 108 of the @girlinspacepodcast  left me with SO MANY QUESTIONS!!! Is Kai alive? Where the heck is Thor? Who is the "lion's paw?" But the biggest unknown is just how important the dwarf star "Ra" is likely to become in the plot of 109... and is why Ra is included in my makeup! The warm glowing orb on my eye is in reference to my suspicions that Ra will soon become a much more relevant part of the Girl in Space plot very soon. #girlinspace #findme #nomurdering #savekillbot #prayforkai
  • Galaxy in action! Quick peek at the movement of the makeup before I put on my wig, which covered a lot of the detail. Gotta love that "sunshine" glare on the shiny black surface! I bought a finishing powder this week to hopefully counteract this in the future. Or just back away from the light.... :P
  • Disappearing into the music...
I was really digging my latest playlist when I started my galaxy makeup last weekend, so I started blacking out everything besides my face to procrastinate taking off my headphones. I took this photo halfway through to see how well I would blend into my background, and kind of liked how this "progress" shot turned out. Funny thing was, this was the last pic where I had a true infinite background, my camera (phone) couldn't quite hang once I was fully blacked out. Time to consider a real camera?
  • Let yourself be found... Another shot of my galaxy inspired by the @girlinspacepodcast. If you haven't heard of this AMAZING audio novella, I highly recommend... trust me, you are in for a treat! #girlinspace #findme #nomurdering 
This look took around 3 hours, and while I love the images with the wig, it covered up a lot of the detail. If you try a galaxy look, allow yourself some patience. It didn't look like a lot until I was well into adding color. Take it slow, and keep layering colors, and suddenly it will start to take shape!

This look was completed using @mehronmakeup paradise paints from the standard, pastels, and brilliant pallets.
  • Find me... This galaxy makeup is inspired by my FAVORITE audio novella,@girlinspacepodcast, though I may be a bit biased. If you haven't yet started listening, you are in for a treat! Enter the world of the character "X" aboard the Cavatica, as she monitors the radiation from the Red Dawrf Star, Ra. Alone.

Season one is still in progress, so there is plenty of time to join the fun! #girlinspace #findme #nomurdering

This look was completed using @mehronmakeup paradise paints from the standard, pastels, and brilliant pallets. Honestly, this is the most color intensive look I have done so far, I had cosmetic wedges everywhere! I pulled it together with a @rockstarwigs long curly in Very Berry.
  • Finally, the last in my “sketched” look (for now). Thieve last few weeks have been absolutely insane, and im still processing. I’m going to have to set aside some time for another look this week, there is something so tranquil about turning yourself into a blank canvas in the most literal sense.
  • Theres nothing quite like painting yourself completely white to make you realize how yellow your teeth are getting. Time to cut back on the coffee! JK, that might actually kill me. #tissuetestfail #needsomewhitestrips #cresttotherescue #notanad #butyoucanpaymeanyway?
  • I sometimes can take well over 200 photos of various looks, just to make sure I get the right one... i don't pretend to be a photographer! Even with so many photos, I will often only post maybe 3-4, which makes me a little sad since I spend so much time on some of these! So here are a few more of my "Migraine" Twenty One Pilots inspired look. I managed to get quite a few shots of this look before adding the tears for the completed migraine look, and I really do love how it looks without any color.


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