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!

Instagram

  • Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more. 
Super excited that my family is NOT doing gifts this year! We are all just bringing a side dish, dessert, and a board game for some quality family time. What are you doing for Christmas? #thegrinchwhostolechristmas #whoville #grinch #grinchchristmas #christmasmovies #grinchmas
  • Even if I wanted to go, my schedule wouldn't allow it! 4 o'clock: wallow in self pity. 4:30: stare into the abyss. 5 o'clock: solve world hunger (tell no one). 5:30: jazzercise. 6:30: dinner with me, I can't cancel that again! 7 o'clock: wrestle with my self loathing. I'm booked! Course if I bump the loathing to 9 I can still be done in time to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness. But what would I wear! #thegrinchwhostolechristmas #whoville #grinch #grinchchristmas #christmasmovies
  • "I'm gunna throw up... and then I'm going to DIIIIIIIEEEEEEEE!"
Probably my favorite line in the entire movie, so much so that it has stuck with me for years. This is often how my anxiety feels like, and I think of this line from the Grinch often when I'm struggling, even at the height of summer! So, the Grinch is a bit near and dear to my heart, and no one will ever take Jim Carrey's place in my heart, even if if it does grow three sizes. #grinch #thegrinchthatstolechristmas #christmas #grinchmakeup
  • I’ve never actually smoked a day in my life. #frosty #frostythesnowman #glamfrosty #winter #wintermakeup
  • One of the reasons I liked this makeup so much was the incredibly simple nose. I’ve tried some looks in the past and I don’t know if it was the white face, orange nose, or just my lack of makeup experience, but I hated them. Instead of trying to literally draw a carrot, this is just a nod in that direction. Also, I’m not one for glitter but I really dig these eyes! Good thing I like them, because I still have glitter on my face. #glitter #frosty #wintermakeup
  • Sticking with my winter theme, it’s Frosty! Ok, this one is a great example of why I love the internet. I saw an AMAZING frosty photo on an Instagram feature account and took a screenshot because I was dying to recreate it. Normally I make sure I have the artists handle in the screenshot so I can tag them if I ever do try it, but somehow missed it this time. To find her, I took to YouTube to find @victorialyn ’s tutorial, and I’m completely blown away with not only the makeup, but the production quality of her videos. I know how much time and effort something like that takes and they are so much fun to watch, even if you don’t plan on doing the makeup in the tutorial. I love finding new artists to follow and be inspired by! #frosty #frostythesnowman #winter
  • The last look at my Frostbite! What other injury makeups could be considered "Holiday"? or at least timely for winter? Or should I do something more glam next? I have half a mind to save more gory winter looks for January when i'm no longer feeling the warm and fuzzies when it snows! #winter #frostbite #frostbitemakeup #sfx #sfxmua
  • "Walking in a Winter Wonderland"
Im really pleased with how this turned out! I know it's no super glamorous but creating actual injuries and skin conditions is a great challenge. I'll spare you the reference material, but it was fun trying to re-create the blistering, as gross as that sounds. Stay warm my friends! #frostbite #frostbitemakeup #winterwonderland #sfxmakeup #sfxmua
  • "Baby it's cold outside."
This look inspired by a 3 hour drive in a blizzard last weekend. It actually wasn't too bad, mostly just excruciatingly slow, but living in SD, I know how dangerous it can be going off the road in bad conditions. #frostbite #SFX #sfxmakeup #brrrrrr #sfxwound

@madlikealyce

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