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.

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!

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  • 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

@madlikealyce

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