Mad Like Alyce

What I sometimes wish people knew about Chronic Pain

It’s been years since Chronic Pain ruled my life. Since doctors appointments, prescription refills, medical tests and procedures, and fear about what was next demanded all of my mental capacity. I am sometimes amazed to find I have made it through nearly an entire day without my chronic pain crossing my mind… an achievement I would never have believed possible four years ago. But even with the progress I have made, I sometimes still wish people knew what a feat it was that I even show up for work on some days. That they would understand the accomplishment it is for me to get through an entire workday, then a workweek, even when I feel like I am taking those days just 5 minutes at a time.

See, I made a deal with myself years ago that I didn’t want to be the person always talking about pain. It had invaded my life and integrated itself with me, but it didn’t have to BECOME my life. Making that realization made a huge difference in the quality of life I led, and has helped me change my mindset and accomplish things I never thought would be possible for me again.

This being said… There are times I just want people to understand. There is an old joke I once heard about a woman in labor where her husband was offered the chance to be connected to a new machine that transfers a percentage of the pain of child labor to the father of the baby. He manages 10%, then 25%, then 50% without any pain. The doctors crank the machine up to 100% and both man and wife go through a completely pain free delivery. After the baby is born, the doctors are just astonished at his tolerance because most men never make it over 20%. When they arrive home with their newborn, the mailman is dead on the front step.

Sometimes, I’m kind of wish this pain machine was real. For the doctors that don’t believe. For the people who don’t understand. For those who judge because they can’t see. And often, it isn’t something you could ever see… rather, habits and behaviors born from it. For me, even without my pain being what it used to, I can still see the signs when I look for them. How I cannot sit still for more than a minute or two at most without shifting. Constant stretching. The stash of emergency medication I never leave home without, just in case one of my killer migraines show up. For the additional stash of OTC meds and pain patches I keep on hand to help pain from taking control. How I go to sleep every night with special pillows for my neck, back, and knee support, as well as a heating pad for my low back and an ice pack on my neck and shoulders.

As you know… no such pain transfer machine exists, nor will it likely ever exist. We have our families, trusted doctors, and friends who can see it, and that is usually enough. If you are struggling with pain, take pride in the accomplishments you make every day. No one else may realize what landmark you may have achieved… but you know. That is what matters.


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!


  • One last look at this (insightful? Revealing?) makeup! I actually really loved the eyes by themselves, and they took a good 2 hours themselves. A good challenge in trying to make a flat art of round objects translated on a curved surface! #eyeseeyou #eyeball #eyes #makeupartist #inspiredbyart
Inspire by art by @xsullo
  • Eye see you! I also understand I’m not funny, it’s ok. 😂
This was actually a fun challenge, eyes are really complex and took nearly 2 hours to get them where I was happy. Of all of this, I’m really proud of the detail I was able to get in the irises of each eye, and my blocked eyebrow almost completely disappeared! This actually looks amazing compared to the first time I blocked them out. Yay for progress! #eyeseeyou #eyeball #horrormakeup #horrorart 
Inspired by art from @xsullo
  • I love finding inspiration in new places, and when @bearded_horror shared artwork by @xsullo a week or so ago, I knew I had to give it a try as a makeup! Seriously, such amazing art. I hope I did it justice! Check out their profile to see even more incredible works and compare to the original.
  • After this photoshoot im not sure how to go back to my plain black background... I mean if there isn’t ominous fog in the background, does it really even count?!?! #fogmachine #clownmakeup #scareactress #hauntlife #evietheclown
  • This is my level of excitement right now! The love I have gotten for Evie over the past few days have been amazing, thank you all so much! #clown #clownmakeup #clowns #hauntlife #scareactress
  • That’s not a Wiley grin, that’s me clamping my teeth together so I stopped chattering. This spring was BRUTAL in SD, and it was in the 30s when we shot this in an unheated parking garage. #clowningaround #clownmakeup #scareactor #scareactress #hauntlife
  • Evie is probably my favorite full-costume character I’ve created to date. It’s so fun to think a practice look I made for haunt last year will be a fully fledged character come haunt season next year! Also, I NEED these light bars @jibclimmer used in this shoot. If anyone has a few hundred dollars to donate to the cause just let me know. 😉 #clown #clownmakeup #hauntedhouse #hauntlife #makeupartist
  • If only @grave_digger_the_clown would learn to share, Evie wouldn’t have to steal his shovel! #justclowningaround #clown #clownmakeup #hauntlife photography credit goes to the incredibly talented @jibclimmer
  • Hey guys! It’s been a hell of last few months, but trust me, I’ve been busy! I’d like to introduce my newest character, Evie the Clown! Thanks so much to @jibclimmer for these incredible photos... more to come very shortly. #clown #clownmakeup #hauntlife


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