My Botox Story

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Just before Thanksgiving 2013, I decided to take the dive and try Botox. The miracle without a knife! I was so excited to see what would happen. This may have changed by now but at that time I learned that Botox can only do so much. It could soften the lines around my eyes that are not caused by smiles. Smile wrinkles are there to stay. It could soften crow’s feet until you could hardly see them, and it could do the same for the horizontal lines on my forehead . . . but not those above the outer edge of my eyes because that could cause them to droop. Last, it could soften my “Angry 11s.” Those, I learned, are the vertical lines between your eyes from what I like to think of as contemplating too strongly for too many years.

I sought out a reputable clinic and was attended to by a nice and experienced Physician Assistant who injected the Botox. It hardly hurt at all, just a tiny pinch. She talked to me for a few minutes explaining the realistic results that I could expect and then did the injections. I was to return in a couple of weeks for follow up.

I started looking for my new youthful face before I even got home, although I had been told it could take up to two weeks for it to take effect. Each day I looked and watched for the miracle. Finally, I noticed some softening. But I also noticed itching. I was always told you have to suffer to be beautiful so it was worth it, if I felt beautiful. It became a comical game for me, watching to see what would happen.

My final verdict was that I looked rather odd. When I lifted my eyebrows, I had lines above the outer edge of my eyes but not on my forehead. It seemed silly looking so I decided not to raise my eyebrows for anything. Easy peasy! After three months of itching (I am told another brand may not itch) and thinking about my facial expressions, I decided Botox was not for me at that time. Maybe I will try it again someday. But at that point in time I was fine with my decision and I still am for now. I am 57 and nothing is going to change that.

That was my Botox story but I will tell you right now that I support anyone who wants to do anything to make themselves feel better. I, too, look for the elixir, and always will. I am a girly girl. I love pink! I love makeup and clothes and anything that is feminine. I fall asleep at night imagining the different outfits I can create. I dream in color and create dresses in my dreams. I hope on my deathbed that I have my eyeliner and lipstick right next to me. Not for anyone else, but for me. I feel these things are what separate us from the animals! 

I have been grappling with aging and the changes in my looks for many years. I don’t like it one bit. Why? I don’t know. Is it because people treat you differently when you start looking older and weaker? I think that is a lot of it for me. I am a force to be reckoned with and my looks can’t change that but people are definitely responding to me differently.

I am seeing a lot lately about not using the phrase anti-aging. And I feel strongly that in some ways we as women are our own worst enemies. We talk all the time about our wrinkles, our bodies being dragged down by gravity, our weight, our thinning hair, and what we should or shouldn't do about it.

Sometimes, we forget that our goal is (or should be) to change the perception of a society that regards women less beautiful as they age. Don't you hate being told you look great for your age? I want to go back to the days when I was young and never looked at others and tried to judge their age. I never looked at my beautiful grandmothers or mother and saw their wrinkles and thought they were old. I only saw love, wisdom, and beauty.

I am so glad to be part of a generation that is challenging stereotypes. I hope I can be a part of the march to celebrate our segment of the population just the way we are. It helps to read, learn, and share with each other about how to grow as we age. For me, I am still slowly figuring out what I want to be when I grow up. I want to be woman who is proud of who she is, and of her family and friends. I want to be a woman who forgives the times she reached a fork in the road and went the wrong way. I want to look at myself in the mirror and not hate my face but say, "Job well done, Cheryl!"

I will however get up most days and play with my makeup and think about the perfect outfit for the day’s activities. If you are going to be on a boat you should be dressed like you are going on a boat. Fashion and beauty is an art that you wear. It is a reflection of how you see the world. Everyone has their thing, fashion is mine, and that is what makes the world go round.

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