Mad Like Alyce

My Life with PTSD

Why Mad Like Alyce?

When I first started experiencing severe symptoms of chronic pain, I simultaneously started to lose control of my PTSD symptoms. My health quickly spiraled downwards in a terrifying whirl of chaos… I fell down the rabbit hole. When people ask me what it is like to have PTSD, I often liken it to being in wonderland. It’s a lot like being in a world where nothing is the way it should be, the rules are all different, and even the most innocent things can be dangerous and frightening. Essentially, it feels as though you are mad, like Alice.

As lost as Alice… As mad as the Hatter

I have spent the last seven years learning how to live with chronic pain and chronic fatigue syndrome, twelve years living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the last three years finally accepting my PTSD and facing it head on… and I won’t pretend that healing process was an easy one. I want to share my journey, and let people know that life in wonderland can be beautiful, inspiring, and wonderful. So walk the paths, drink the tonic, and eat the cake… before you know it, you can enjoy all of it without fear.

Telling My Story

Originally, when I started this blog, I did not want to share the story of falling down the rabbit hole. No one likes reliving the past, and God knows my family has listened to me tirelessly when getting control of my PTSD was the primary focus of my life. I have spent the better part of the last seven years re-living the fears of my past, battling through the struggles of letting go and moving on, and healing old scars. It wasn’t fun, and often it wasn’t very positive. I want this blog to be a place focused on moving forward, all of the fun projects and activities that I (over)fill my life with, and how PTSD and chronic pain have had an effect on this journey of discovering myself again.

Over the first few months of Mad Like Alyce, I have realized that while telling my story won’t be easy, I simply cannot stay silent any longer. I don’t want to be an activist. I don’t want to be the face of change. But I do want to start the conversation. By sharing my story, I hope that someone who has been keeping theirs silent will see they are not alone. That they can take strength in knowing that healing is not easy, but possible. That they can get the help they need. And that they may someday add their voice to this conversation.

Three important things I have learned from telling my story:

1. While I told myself for years that I was fine, I can now look back now and see how miserable and unhealthy I really was. Even when the most prominent story at the time was my chronic pain, my struggle with PTSD was present in such a visceral way, even if I couldn’t see it yet.

2. When I was diagnosed with Chronic Pain and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I quickly accepted it as fact. It made sense with what I was experiencing. When it came to PTSD, however, I didn’t really accept it for years. Pain is something familiar, and the only thing I could compare it to was losing my mind.

I really only started healing once I accepted that my triggers and panic attacks were “Normal” for those with  my condition. Finally, I began to accept and understand what had happened to me. To understand that it doesn’t change who I am, but is a part of my history. It is not what happened to me but how I have learned to continue living that defines me.  That my story is part of what has shaped me into the person who I am now. The person that I wouldn’t change for anything.

3. I will have PTSD the rest of my life, and although I may hate it, I know it is not a failure on my part. I hate when my triggers show their ugly face. I hate when they take over my life, make me sick to my stomach. Make me shaky and terrified and insecure. But I am starting to also see that I can overcome my triggers far more quickly than I used to, and that they occur far more infrequently. Now I know what they are, and I know that this is normal. I don’t feel (as) out of control. I know it will be over soon, and that I can move on. And I know it will continue to get better as I continue healing. But it is finally me that is in control of my PTSD, not the other way around.

Join the Madness

I hope that the lessons I have worked so hard on and that I continue to learn will also help those of you out there that don’t feel like you have a voice. I am not the first person to walk this path, and sadly, I will not be the last. But I feel it is time we can start walking together.

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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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