Mad Like Alyce

So, if you are new here, I have been living with Chronic Pain and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for quite some time now, and for the most part, I’ve gotten to a good place in life with it. You probably wouldn’t even know it if you saw me out and about. I actually have quite a few behind the scenes things I have to do on a daily basis to manage my chronic pain issues that you might never see.

Invisible Illness

To be able to keep up with my job, I have to manage my energy expenditure. Ensure I get enough sleep each night. I wear braces on my arms while I sleep to help my nerves relax. I also sleep with ice packs on my shoulders (at least until they thaw), a pillow under my knees, a chiropractic pillow and  if it’s a rough day, a heating pad. I also take medication for my PTSD, which is, as with any mental health medication, important to take consistently. I won’t go into a tailspin if I miss a dose, but it can sometimes throw off my moods and especially my sleep for a few days. Finally, I often use Kinesio tape, which actually is visible, but people are often surprised to learn I have nerve damage 🙂

typing with kenisio tapeWearing it as I type this post!

Its all about balance

That is not the point of this post. What actually brought it up was a conversation today with a wonderful friend of mine who is going through a rough time post surgery that has made her rely heavily on friends and family. Because I also had a reasonably serious surgery in the past year, she asked how I balance trying to be independent with asking for help. Oh man.

To start with, I am very lucky to have a wonderful boyfriend who brought me ice every day, did all of the grocery shopping, laundry, and walked my dog… for 4 months. He also slept on the couch for 3 weeks post op just to make sure he didn’t jostle me until I could handle it. He kissed my forehead while he pulled the pain pump tube out of my shoulder on day 3 and I ugly sobbed, cuz it was  gross. The tube removal, not the kiss, that was adorbs. You should be jelly. I digress… and apologize for the “text” lingo, it just felt appropriate.

The truth is, I really don’t like asking for help, and aside from Damir, I didn’t ask for a ton of help when I probably could and should have. I really had to think about how to strike that balance between asking for help and independence, and if I could narrow it down to anything, I would have to say… its all about forgiving yourself. When you have to rely on someone else, you often feel guilty. That you are taking their time, their energy, and that you have nothing to give back. That guilt can really weigh on you.

Ask for Help, and Forgive Yourself

But really. Sometimes you need help, and sometimes… its a LOT of help. Sometimes its a lot of help for a LONG time. But someday, maybe soon, maybe years from now… you will be in a position to help someone else. A kind word, holding the door, making a donation to a gofundme to help someone in need. Pay it forward at Starbucks, volunteer. Take care of someone you know who is in the same place you are now. Your opportunity will present itself. I am a firm believer that the world is full of flowing energy, and it is completely ok if you need to draw that energy from others for awhile. Just know it’s just for now until you can give it back, either to them or to others.

Its ok not to be “on” it at all times. Its ok to sleep for 13 hours straight if you need it. Its ok to have ask for rides for weeks or even months, have your laundry done for you, or have to call someone in your darkest moment for help. The energy will balance. Forgive yourself for now, and pass your gratitude forward.

P.S. I finished writing this last week at somewhere around midnight on a work night. The post got stuck when I tried to upload an image, and I had to refresh the browser. To my dismay, the post had vanished. I closed the browser, and my laptop, and went to bed. Defeated, I put off posting until today, when I was delighted to find this post had actually (magically) saved!!! 

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

  • “I got an early parole, only here to say hi.” Can’t stop Shego feom@coming back atcha! Ok, serious question, who wants to see a glam Dr. Drakken? #kimpossible #shego #halloween
  • Got to work with my sister on a test makeup for her Halloween costume and we both did Shego makeup together! I know she has black hair, but my only black wig just wasn’t working. She did fantastic for her first time! #shego #kimpossible #sistermakeup
  • When you are so busy with #hauntlife you forget you have Instagram. I’m pulling together a video shoot for our haunt trailer video and an #sfxmakeup internship for aspiring artists. I sleep too, sometimes.
  • William Faulkner said to “it’s hard to kill your darlings” meaning it can be difficult to critique your own work, especially if you put a lot into it. Stephen King went on to say you should put your work away for six months to a year before editing so you can clearly evaluate. I’m really glad I looked back at this one. Even without the wig, I think it’s striking. #hauntmua #sfxmua #stevenkingismyhero #skullmakeup
  • I’m going through old pictures and ran across this one. I remember not really being happy with this look, and sure, the lines could have been cleaner, but I still really like this! I think we should always go back and look at work a year later... even if it really want good, it shows us just how far we have come in so little time. #skullmakeup #hauntmua #sfxmua #personalgrowth
  • I often do a look that I’m just not all that happy with afterwards, as is with this “halfway to Halloween” clown I created back in.... May? Looking at it now, I don’t know what it is exactly it was that I didn’t like... maybe I just needed a orange wig? I almost like a progress pic more than the finished product. What do you think?#clowns #clownmakeup
  • Throwback to my first actual clown makeup! The eye shapes were inspired by a few looks by @totalnightmaretravis, and i was incredibly excited about this wig! The Rhapsody Short by @rockstarwigs is probably the most fun wig to wear that I currently own. I only have red, but am heavily considering another color for my collection.
Happy National Clown Week! #justclowningaround #clowns #scaryclowns
  • Happy National Clown Week! A year ago, I wasn’t a big fan of clowns, but I practiced so many clown makeups that I eventually came to find them to be one of my favorites, and even created my own clown character. This is the first actual clown makeup I recreated based on @grave_digger_the_clown for last year’s haunt. Turned out a lot prettier than he is, no? 😉
#clownsofinstagram #hauntmua #clownmakeup #clowns
  • 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
Facepaint is a recreation of art by @xsullo

@madlikealyce

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