Mad Like Alyce

One thing that has really stood out to me during my journey with chronic pain and PTSD is that it can often be really hard to focus on the positives in life. When it feels like your body has turned traitor and you are in a constant “fight or flight” mindset… it feels like nothing ever goes your way. Even then things started going my way, I distinctly recall the feeling that I was just one step away from everything falling apart all over again.

Keep calm and… nevermind

These are two words I honestly couldn’t associate with before the last year. Something happened around March last year when I turned a corner with my counseling. It was just the first corner of many (trust me, I know there are still so many yet ahead) but for the first time, I started to have moments where I was absolutely at peace. I think the first that I honestly felt was when I was out on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation last summer.

There is something incredibly healing about the Black Hills of South Dakota, from the climate to it’s stunning beauty. Something about being out there makes my heart swell, and I feel an unexplained feeling that this is where I need to be in that moment. During that last trip, I was facing not only a completely new experience, but facing many triggers buried in my memories of the Black Hills.

During that trip, I saw a level of need I had never experienced. Not being able to help those children more than providing a hot meal and a warm hug broke me inside, and those emotions tangled with my own conflicted and vulnerable feelings finally hit a tidal wave crescendo one night. Instead of spending time with my companions at the Dream Center, I wandered over to the playground and sat on the swings in the dark, looking out over the Badlands to a nearly full moon and cried my heart out. I know, it sounds totally dramatic, but I am a full believer in the healing power of a good cathartic cry.

Recognizing peace for what it is

Now, I certainly didn’t stop having panic attacks or feelings of anxiety… since then I have had some panic attacks that rank up there with the worst of them. I did, however, find that I was better able to start challenging those thoughts of anxiety, or at least be able to appreciate the moment. I had a blissful moment this morning where I had just pulled out my balcony table and chairs and enjoyed coffee in the light spring breeze. I was incredibly grateful in that moment, and realized what peace was… the mindset of thankfulness. For me, the opposite of anxiety… is gratitude.

With that, I decided to start a gratitude journal. Its something that is quite in vogue at the moment, but there is power in writing things down, pen to paper. And once the words started, I very quickly filled the first page. So many things to be thankful for… my moment this morning with the blissful absence of the anxiety that clenches my heart, the realization that I have lived with Damir successfully for the last year (I never thought I could share a home with someone I was in a relationship with… the idea had been so terrifying before, yet now I wouldn’t have it any other way.)

So my new venture, for a while at least is to spend a few minutes each morning writing in this journal with the hopes it will help me keep a positive outlook on the rest of the day, no matter how hectic my morning. What are you thankful for today?

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

  • 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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