Mad Like Alyce

On Change and Challenges

A good friend has often referred to how we go through seasons in our life, and has even mentions it in an episode on her podcast, the Write Now Podcast (Check it out, Sarah is amazing!). But I’ve got to be honest… I’m in this weird season of my life. See, I work in advertising and unfortunately, I often feel like it can be a really fake industry. There are some people who are wonderful and authentic… but so many more that are more concerned about how to get ahead and making sure you are aware of your status compared to them. It’s this insane rooster dance at events of talking to people without ever saying something of substance and it can be really disheartening overtime. I’ve grown used to not talking about anything too personal to people in my industry and even within my work circle, but lately, I realized this wall had been up on my blog as well.

Being Afraid

When I started this blog… I wanted to talk about my struggle with chronic pain and PTSD, but I was terrified of exposing myself. Of those who had hurt me being able to find this blog and track me behind the safety of their browsers or worse, be able to find me. And I was terrified of being judged by people who didn’t understand. It is hard enough that my family still struggles to accept my PTSD, and I know that by putting myself out there that I also open myself up to the scrutiny of my readers. I know that a lot of people just don’t understand… how I could have “let myself be a victim” of both rape and domestic abuse. That they wont understand how that could result in my condition. Over time, I have been able to shake a lot of this fear and have opened up about a lot of my journey in trying to take back control over my life.

Some things never change

While I have been pretty open about my recent weight loss goals, I have been keeping a few things under wraps. Its an old habit from before… when I was too ashamed to talk to my family about what was happening to me. Its easy(er) to discuss stressful/bad/difficult situations once they have resolved. I know this isn’t a trait specific to just domestic abuse and rape victims, but it’s just how I dealt with things. I always felt I could tough things out. That there were people who had it worse than me, so I shouldn’t be a wimp. That is half of the reason I didn’t accept what had happened to me for the longest time. So when I lost my job… I didn’t talk about it.

For me, there are so many emotions wrapped up in this. Frankly, even though I know getting laid off is not my fault, it certainly doesn’t make me feel any better about it. Straight up, losing your job is depressing… and job hunting even more so. Its like being broken up with after a long relationship and having to start over. Blaming yourself. Doubting your worth. I sleep in because I can, then I’m depressed with myself all day for feeling lazy. Agonize over the limited number of available positions in Sioux Falls. Stress out that my interview suits from 3 years ago don’t fit. Be frustrated that it’s Ramadan and I agreed to abstain from alcohol with Damir until July 5th… oh the timing…

It’s getting a little lonely up in here

Waiting for a storm to pass can be really lonely, especially when you have no way of knowing when the storm will end. I know I shut myself off when I’m struggling. I hide.. its just easier to deal that way. But I also think its unhealthy. I don’t make friends easily, and a good number of my friends are work related, which means they are at the place of employment that I just left. I want to be able to talk about things with these friends but it’s difficult for me to speak openly… I don’t want them to feel bad for me and more than anything I don’t want to be the bearer of doom and gloom. Though this whole journey, I have always tried as hard as possible to never be the person always complaining about my situation. Optimism is much more my style.

Beyond the sympathy, talking about these situations makes people uncomfortable. Its like unemployment is a contagious disease that they don’t want to catch through association. Or simply empathy… they are in a position where the idea of becoming unemployed terrifies them and I am a blatant reminder that this could happen to anyone.

But discomfort is the catalyst of change

I also was terrified of the idea of not having a job. When I was in my abusive relationship, he would use the fact that I was on disability and only working part time as a way to make me feel less. He would tell me how he would take care of me, but use it as a tool to erode me into nothing. Right before I left, he told me I didn’t have to work after graduation… that he would make enough for both of us. Although I couldn’t tell you why, this terrified me. It was years later when I learned that money control and taking measures to prevent a spouse from working is a classic control tactic of abusers.

When I left, and after I graduated, I cannot tell you how proud I was to take care of myself. It was a struggle at times… but I was on my own and doing well. I was taking care of myself and finally living my life. Moving in with Damir was a challenge for me, and having any discussion about finances would trigger a full scale panic attack. I’ve worked hard in the past year to work on keeping control of that trigger and know that its simply a conversation, not a warning flag. Still, when I suddenly found myself in a position that I would need to rely on him financially… I have had to work hard to keep that trigger at bay.

The Season of Change

Considering the fact that a discussion on how to split groceries could give me heart palpitations just six months ago (and to a degree still does at times),  I cannot tell you how proud I am for keeping it together, much less actually doing relatively well in this position. Sometimes I think that we will never know how much progress we have made until it is tested, and this certainly was a test.

Its strange to think that even 6 months ago, losing my job could have sent me into a tailspin. This isn’t to say that I’m not struggling. But it does show me that I can handle this. I’m working hard to find my next job, and taking steps to move forward. In the meantime, I’ve decided to stop hiding this. At least, here, on the blog.

I started this blog with the intention of sharing my journey to help others struggling with the same fears. If I can share my fears, hopefully it gives others the strength to know they are not alone. PTSD, and life in general, can be lonely… but it doesn’t have to be. Even though I am uncomfortable, I know it is ultimately the catalyst that has helped me see just how far I have come, and to see that I can indeed grow in this season of change.

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!

Costume & Makeup Tutorials

Instagram

  • Good things happen when you leave the apartment for the first time in a week! These must've gotten dropped off when I was taking a nap, I opened my front door to find this gorgeous Halloween bouquet on my doormat from @bkbecker! I just can't get over those adorable bats!!! #ihavethebestfriends #halloween
  • Rose Madder has an ethereal beauty and raw feminine power, however, something is off... something not quite human. The shadows under her skin would be perhaps leprosy, perhaps something worse, and her eyes are rabid with madness. “Don't look at her face! That is not for the likes of you.”
She was fascinated by the texture of the woman's back, her bare shoulder, and the lower part of her neck. The skin was finer than watered silk. But farther up on her neck... Rosie didn't know what those grey Shadows lurking just below her hairline could be, and didn't think she wanted to know. Bites were her first wild thought, but they weren't bites. Rosie knew bites. Was it leprosy? Something worse? Something contagious? 
Products used in this look are: 
Woochie cream makeup in Dead Guy Grey, @mehronmakeup aqua color in white and gray, Light green cream makeup from the zombie color set from Woochie, Eyeshadows from the @tartecosmetics artist palette.
Gold aqua color from the Mehron brilliant palette, @bennyemakeup bruise wheel.
Full tutorial on the blog!
  • One of the reasons I love Stephen King novels is because he illustrates just enough of the character for your imagination to kick in and fill in the horrifying details that make it real and terrifying for each individual. Because this has never before been made into a motion picture I was really excited to be able to make my own spin on how Rose Madder would appear for round 3 of the #StrykingFEAR contest. Check out the full tutorial, now up on the blog, link in bio!
  • Here is my entry for round 3 of the #StrykingFEAR contest. Inspired by the recent excitement around the movie IT, I wanted to create a character from another of my favorite Stephen King novels, Rose Madder. The book is set in the late 80s or early nineties but I would imagine that it would be produced in the style of many of his older movies from the 70s and 80s such as The Shining, Carrie, or Salem's Lot.
This novel is unique to me because it includes elements of Greek mythology which is a different angle for Stephen King, and also because it covers the topic of domestic abuse, and with October also being domestic abuse awareness month I felt that it was very timely. In the book, Rose Madder is an “almost goddess” that saves the main character, Rosie, by showing her how to empower herself and escape from her abusive husband. 
One of the reasons I love Stephen King novels is because he illustrates just enough of the character for your imagination to kick in and fill in the horrifying details that make it real and terrifying for each individual. Because this has never before been made into a motion picture I was really excited to be able to make my own spin on how Rose Madder would appear.
Rose Madder has an ethereal beauty and raw feminine power, however, something is off... something not quite human. The shadows under her skin would be perhaps leprosy, perhaps something worse, and her eyes are rabid with madness. “Don't look at her face! That is not for the likes of you.”
  • Super excited to be entering the #StrykingFEAR Contest! It all started when I came across the round one intro video from @miss_stryx back in August. Suddenly I had a deliciously horrifying idea that has led to an awesome collaboration with @jibclimmer and I was more excited about Halloween this year then I have been for any years prior. Thanks @miss_stryx for the inspiration! Since I had to rush everything because of my surgery last week, I'm still working on editing and will actually be posting the rounds in reverse order. Round three coming up soon!
  • It's showtime!!!! It's been an interesting last week recovering  from my recent shoulder surgery, but in between bouts of falling asleep randomly and mindlessly watching television, I've been able to work on some of the video to tutorials I shot prior to the surgery. These are gonna be coming at you here pretty soon! In the meantime, here is my Beetlejuice from last year which you can find a tutorial for on the blog, both make up and costume! Link in bio.
  • I didn't want to say anything, then... or even now. But what someone else decided to do became a part of who I am now. A part of the damage I will always carry. My voice may have been small while I put myself together. Until I learned that the part of me that I am proudest of, the strength in me to overcome, is something you will never take. #metoo
  • Should have known #fridaythe13th would be the PERFECT day to start shooting my next project. You guys... I can't even begin to say how excited I am to share it with you, but for now, a quick peek.
  • Even in death, #pumpkinspice is life! Zombie walks are popping up all around the country, and if you want to wear your costume early as a "zombie" but don't want to actually damage the costume, this basic zombie is perfect! Or for me, it's a casual October Saturday....

@madlikealyce

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