Mad Like Alyce

Flares, Fears & Frustrations

I have started and stopped this post multiple times, deleting everything and beginning again from scratch. The truth is, it’s incredibly difficult to talk about fear, and there simply is no way to discuss chronic pain and flare-ups without including the topic of fear.

Flares

This January marks five years since I made the decision to get completely off pain medication. My first year living pain medication-free was a roller coaster of blinding pain and attempts to manage it with an endless supply of Biofreeze and enough ibuprofen to kill a herd of livestock. I thought I had accepted that I would never be pain-free, and it was a shock to me the first time I made it through a day at work without taking ibuprofen or even thinking of my pain once (three years med-free). I wear my pain warrior badge proudly, and even though I have accepted the ups, downs, and limitations of my diagnosis, I was still in no way prepared for the fear that accompanies a flare-up.

Fears

Sometimes, it takes a flare-up for us to see just how well we have been managing. I’m not talking about the day-to-day pain but that deep, searing pain that takes your breath away as it rips you back in time to memories of when your pain was at its worst. Your pain manifests as a physical being, gripping you in a toxic embrace, and all you can do is silently scream in your head, “Not again, not again, not again,” until your brain is numb from the agony. Even after five years of flare-ups, they still suffocate me with their intensity. I don’t bring it up to be dramatic but instead to lessen its power by telling you this is normal. We went through hell – some of us are still in some shade of it – and the thought of going back there brings us to our knees.

Frustrations

While it is perhaps one of the hardest things to do, I focus on slowing down, which is the exact opposite of what my terrified rabbit brain wants to do. I’m currently in one of my worst flare-ups in five years, which happened to be brought on by a new injury sustained at the gym. For the first time in seven years, I called my sister and mom in tears from the pain.

What about the nail?

While my mind was spinning terrified circles about the “what ifs” and possibility that my pain could be coming back to its full fury, it was my sister who had the best advice. “Go to your doctor, you probably actually hurt yourself.” Did you ever see that spoof video where the girl goes on and on about problems, completely ignoring the nail in her forehead that causes all of said problems? I kind of felt like that for a minute. Having chronic pain means I am very good at ignoring my pain or at least distracting myself from it. Sometimes I forget that pain actually has a purpose, which is to tell you something is wrong in your body. Facepalm. An injury. Deal with the injury, then deal with the flare. I’m not going to say the anxiety was immediately resolved, but it was a plan and sometimes, having an actionable plan can bring that internal panicked bedlam down to a dull roar.

It’s OK to be afraid.

I did go to the doctor and am yet again back in physical therapy. I’m trying to do the opposite of what I normally do (ignoring the pain) and actually listen to my body and what it is telling me. When we do well managing our pain, it’s easy to forget how far we h]ave come. It’s OK to be afraid of the pain… just know that you are stronger.

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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  • 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
  • Hanging out with mystic while I tackle my next sewing project. I like to think her interest is in hanging out with me, but there is a high chance she just wants the Fritos I’ve been munching... #cosplay #cosplaydog #sewing #mccallspatterns #cosplaymccalls #pitbull #pitbullsofinstagram
  • Bull in boots! It was enough of a battle to get her into them, and she refuses to move anywhere wearing them! 😂😂😂 I was so looking forward to a little dance, but so far she is just laying there looking helpless. Maybe if I get out the peanut butter? #pitbull #pitbullsofinstagram #doginboots #notcoolmom
  • I decided to spring for new ornaments this year and went from hyper colorful to classic beauty with a Gryffindor Christmas tree, complete with Hedwig ornaments! No DIY here (except the jingle bell snitch) just a very content Gryffindor snuggling on the couch enjoying the lights and a glass of wine. #twomoresleeps #harrypotterchristmas #gryffindor #housepride
  • New Christmas gift to myself... the long curly in emerald green from @rockstarwigs ! I’m hoping my ideas for some holiday makeup looks can inspire me to get back at it now that I can finally use my right arm! Any guesses or requests? #merrychristmastome #cosplaychristmas #rockstarwigs
  • The top 9 for madlikealyce! It has been a fantastic year, trying out all kinds of new things and really expanding on my love for makeup and cosplay. Thank you to all of my AMAZING FRIENDS AND FOLLOWERS who have been with me on this journey. I can wait until my shoulder has healed enough to get back to it, I have a whole LIST of things I am dying to try! In the meantime, I’m at least back to writing on the blog, so make sure to check me out there, Link in bio. ❤️ you all!
  • Sick day snuggles. But at least it’s my first day out of the sling! #countdownisover #pitbullsofinstagram #pitbull #drinkallthetea
  • My new favorite IG account... u need to scroll through these posts! #Repost @iamtheswimreaper (@get_repost)
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