Mad Like Alyce

Well, I have to admit, 5 days in to my final medication cessation and I already feel like a total baby. The first jump down in meds was just a half step compared to what it will be a week from now… and I’m dreading it. Ive tried to tough my way through the first few days, but my sleep has definitely been suffering, and I have been compensating by canceling appointments with friends and eating way more food than I should, and I finally caved and went to the chiropractor even though I had to put it on a card (bank account = zero… boo). Even as I sit here at my desk… i’m just overwhelmed with exhaustion that is bone deep. The kind of exhaustion where it feels like work just to breathe.

Our Pain Perspective

Honestly, doing this is a really good way to review how our perspectives shift in regards to our own pain. Back when I was in the PRC, I could hardly get through an 8 hour day of classes, much less an entire day of activity. I had to take breaks in the quiet room multiple times a day. I took the max recommended dose of over the counter meds.

(whether they would have endorsed that, I don’t know, and I didn’t ask. Please remember that this is my own opinions and memories, and should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your health care routine)

I used Icy Hot balm, Salon Pas patches, and heating pads throughout the day. Even with these, I still struggled with the intense pain.

Now, I don’t know if my pain necessarily lessened over the last 4 years, or if I just got used to it over time. Maybe both. Typically, my pain would have flare ups about once every 2 months, with a major flare once or twice per year. I just kept moving forward and used pain management techniques to get through it. Now that I am making changes again, I do know that the pain certainly appears to still be there. If i’m just more aware of it with med changes or the med changes have made me more sensitive… I guess I will never know. I do have faith that I will make it through this again. I have faith that I will yet again find a new baseline normal where my pain and I live in (reasonable) harmony. But right now… you guys i’m already so tired. This is going to be interesting, to say the least.

Preparing for the next steps

Knowing that I have just over a week before the next step down, I have really been reviewing the techniques that got me through my opiate pain medication withdrawals four years ago and trying to prepare myself. I hope that by using these, I can hopefully minimize the overall effects of the withdrawal. Ultimately, I realize that some things will just be difficult for awhile, but that is ok. At minimum, I feel that if I can get through the next two months without missing work, that will be a huge success. Having extra breaks for the holidays will help. And having you all helps me too. No matter where we are in our pain journey, we are in it together. Keep hanging in there!


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!


  • Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more. 
Super excited that my family is NOT doing gifts this year! We are all just bringing a side dish, dessert, and a board game for some quality family time. What are you doing for Christmas? #thegrinchwhostolechristmas #whoville #grinch #grinchchristmas #christmasmovies #grinchmas
  • Even if I wanted to go, my schedule wouldn't allow it! 4 o'clock: wallow in self pity. 4:30: stare into the abyss. 5 o'clock: solve world hunger (tell no one). 5:30: jazzercise. 6:30: dinner with me, I can't cancel that again! 7 o'clock: wrestle with my self loathing. I'm booked! Course if I bump the loathing to 9 I can still be done in time to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness. But what would I wear! #thegrinchwhostolechristmas #whoville #grinch #grinchchristmas #christmasmovies
  • "I'm gunna throw up... and then I'm going to DIIIIIIIEEEEEEEE!"
Probably my favorite line in the entire movie, so much so that it has stuck with me for years. This is often how my anxiety feels like, and I think of this line from the Grinch often when I'm struggling, even at the height of summer! So, the Grinch is a bit near and dear to my heart, and no one will ever take Jim Carrey's place in my heart, even if if it does grow three sizes. #grinch #thegrinchthatstolechristmas #christmas #grinchmakeup
  • I’ve never actually smoked a day in my life. #frosty #frostythesnowman #glamfrosty #winter #wintermakeup
  • One of the reasons I liked this makeup so much was the incredibly simple nose. I’ve tried some looks in the past and I don’t know if it was the white face, orange nose, or just my lack of makeup experience, but I hated them. Instead of trying to literally draw a carrot, this is just a nod in that direction. Also, I’m not one for glitter but I really dig these eyes! Good thing I like them, because I still have glitter on my face. #glitter #frosty #wintermakeup
  • 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


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