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

  • 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

@madlikealyce

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