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!

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  • 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
Inspire by art by @xsullo
  • Eye see you! I also understand I’m not funny, it’s ok. 😂
This was actually a fun challenge, eyes are really complex and took nearly 2 hours to get them where I was happy. Of all of this, I’m really proud of the detail I was able to get in the irises of each eye, and my blocked eyebrow almost completely disappeared! This actually looks amazing compared to the first time I blocked them out. Yay for progress! #eyeseeyou #eyeball #horrormakeup #horrorart 
Inspired by art from @xsullo
  • I love finding inspiration in new places, and when @bearded_horror shared artwork by @xsullo a week or so ago, I knew I had to give it a try as a makeup! Seriously, such amazing art. I hope I did it justice! Check out their profile to see even more incredible works and compare to the original.
  • After this photoshoot im not sure how to go back to my plain black background... I mean if there isn’t ominous fog in the background, does it really even count?!?! #fogmachine #clownmakeup #scareactress #hauntlife #evietheclown

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