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?


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!

Costume & Makeup Tutorials


  • I should be in bed, but instead I'm fighting sleep and fooling around on Photoshop. This is a mirrored version to complete a full face. I have my makeup out and ready for a new look, but have nothing left in the tank today, so here's my last Gwen Dylan... for now ;)
Also, I forget how asymmetrical our faces can be until you flip a photo, or in this case, mirror it. Even just flipping it looked so strange to me!
  • I’m having waaaayyyy to much fun with this one, and it’s just the makeup! I think I might have to start this cosplay this weekend... what’s a good material to use to make a fake shovel blade? I’m a nube when it comes to fabrication, so any and all advice is welcome!
  • You GUYS this might have moved to my favorite makeup of all time. Gwen Dylan, inspired by the cover of iZombie: Dead to the World. I think I might have to make this a full scale cosplay, what do you think?

The zombie half was created using @mehronmakeup water paints. Wig is from @ardawigs (I think it is the Magnum Long Classic in Titanium Blonde). Eyes were photoshopped to match the comic book cover.
  • You may know of Liv Moore, but do you know who Gwen Dylan? You guys, i'm really really pleased with how this turned out! Modeled after the cover of iZombie: Dead to the World, Gwen Dylan is the original iZombie heroine, a revenant zombie that must eat brains once per month to retain her mind, which is easy, seeing as she is a gravedigger. 
The zombie half was created using @mehronmakeup  water paints. Wig is from @ardawigs (I think it is the Magnum Long Classic in Titanium Blonde). Eyes were photoshopped to match the cover.
  • Some like it hot! Unlike Liv Moore in iZombie, I would get some pretty bad heartburn, but that doesn't stop me from adding Sriracha. I think the most disturbing part of this picture is that even though I added white to the foundation to get that "ultra pale" look, you still can hardly see the difference between my face and hands... sigh. #palelife #zombie
  • When you get those late night munchies... Another look at this Full On Zombie Liv Moore from iZombie. The more I look at this, the more I love it... why do I procrastinate in posting things for so long?!? I've got a few blog posts in the works for projects that I started last year! I should hopefully have more things up in the near future. In the meantime, bon appetit.
  • Happy Valentines Day! I'll always love you for your BRAINS!!!
I did this iZombie Liv Moore in Full-On Zombie back before my surgery and just haven't gotten around to posting until now! I had wanted to come up with some kind of Valentines day themed look to kick me back into things now that my arm is mostly functional, but I was just struggling to think of what I wanted to do. Valentines Day is just not my thing. Unless there is chocolate. I Digress.
Halfway into my glass of wine, I realized this was the perfect time to post this look. I technically have a video, but the jury is still out on whether or not to post it just yet. I'm mostly just glad to be at a point where I can start experimenting with makeup again!
  • Anybody else struggle this time of year? I’m looking at these lovely sunbeams from my Alice In Wonderland shoot this summer to bring some sunshine to my day. I’ll be doing just fine, then be lying on the couch trying to feel like I can breathe again. I know it is ok, and these increased symptoms will pass, but it’s certainly not fun, especially when I have projects and ideas id like to tackle, but can’t get past this paralyzing anxiety. What do you guys use to help with SADD? #SADD #anxiety #ptsd #seasonaldepression  #winteristheworst #whydoilivehere
  • Halfway done! Still a ton to do, and I’ve learned ALOT already, like how not to sew in an invisible zipper, that I need a seam ripper, and need to invest in real fabric shears. But it’s actually coming together! Having never used a pattern before, I admit I looked at the pile of paper with some skepticism. Also, it kind of matches my couch. 😂 #cosplay #sewing #mccallspatterns #mccalls #mccallscosplay #spacesuit #plussizecosplay


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