The Surprising Reason I Quit Botox
Confession time. I used to be a botox addict. Like, a full on injections-in-my-face-every 3-4 months-don’t-you-dare-mess-with-my-botox-schedule addict.
You see, my mom has horizontal lines in her forehead. Deep ones. Likely from all of the worry I caused her during my teenage years (sorry mom). I began to think 'I don’t want my forehead to look like that.' I decided to do some preventative maintenance; at the ripe old age of 25, I began my botox obsession. And it worked like a freaking charm. My face was wrinkle free; I kept thinking how smug I was preventing all those forehead lines. But in a short few months, the botox would wear off, my forehead would start to move again, and I would see those little hints of lines pop up. Back to the injector I would go and the whole process would start again. Because I loved the results, this cycle was one which was likely to repeat for a good long while.
Until one day, everything changed.
Several years after my botox journey began, I was really feeling the stress in my life - I was ending a relationship, I was changing careers, and I was moving. This perfect storm of events was scary and emotional. I was starting to feel somewhat lost in all of the changes and self-doubt was becoming my new best friend. One day, I was sitting alone in quiet meditation and I had the incredible urge to cry. The message ‘if you cry, you will feel better’ became louder and louder in my head. I tried to let that emotion surface…..and nothing happened. I tried again to let some tears flow, to have that release that comes with a good cry and not a thing happened. I was stumped.
I began trying to figure out why I couldn’t cry at that moment - when my body and spirit were telling me so desperately it was what I needed. What I came up with was surprising but seemed to fit: because most of my face was somewhat frozen thanks to the botox, I was unable to knit my eyebrows together, to scrunch my eyes, or squeeze my eyelids shut. Basically, I was being prevented from making ugly crying face. For me, having my facial muscles paralyzed into an 'everything is okie dokie’ expression meant that I couldn’t feel my feelings. When I was feeling so much grief and sadness, my frozen face was keeping my from being able to feel and therefore deal with those feelings accordingly so that I could move into my next chapter. Not only was my face paralyzed, so were my emotions.
I started to wonder: if using botox was keeping me from being able to feel and deal with sadness, loss, and grief, was it also keeping me from being able to feel and deal with happiness, abundance, and gladness? What other things had I been missing out on while I was wearing that frozen mask? I decided to stop using botox in order to find out. Coincidentally around the same time, I was learning about cosmetic acupuncture. I figured I could those little acupuncture needles to help prevent forehead lines while still preserving my face’s ability for natural movement and emotional expression. The best part is acupuncture helps harmonize body on a systemic level - meaning: all those emotions that cause wrinkles in the first place (worry, grief, stress, etc.) get balanced long before they start etching permanent wrinkles in the face. Thanks to a quiet moment of truth, I will be skipping the botox and subsequent dulled emotions. In the meantime, you can find me like this - happily erasing lines and wrinkles while also being comfortable feeling my feelings.