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Botox. Just Grow Old Gracefully

Patient under injection

People who know me have often heard me exclaim that botox is unnecessary and women shouldn’t bother – we should all have the self confidence to age with pride and not worry about such nonsense. I have always been very confident that I am one of those women and have been looking forward to growing older and proving this fact.

I’m a fairly average looking (not quite) 40 year old and although men & women don’t throw themselves as my feet, neither do small children run screaming from me. I feel comfortable in my skin and, coming from self-conscious 20s, I’ve really enjoyed the confidence my 30s have given me.

Enter life changing event: eighteen months ago, I had a baby (I also thought it would be a great idea to get a puppy). And this means that I’ve had very little sleep over the last couple of years. I also run my own business. Oh, and I have a teenager. Basically – I’ve swapped calm, mature, everything-is-in-control me with a scarier version which is stressed, forgetful, run-down, tired and anxious.

bookshelfYou’d never know though, I’m like a swan – you know, calm on the outside, paddling furiously underneath? Actually, that’s not true at all. You would know – because my face has become etched with deep lines of concentration as I try and remember the thing that I’d forgotten or with frustration as my toddler empties the book shelf of it’s contents for the umpteenth time or with anger as the puppy chews through the third pair of my heels this month. It’s fair to say that my face has lived through every stressful, sleep deprived hour of the last few months.

What really hit me was when a friend, one of those types that just blurts out the truth, agreed (emphatically) with me when I suggested I’d aged ten years in the last two. It’s not that it came as a shock, more that it confirmed what I’d been thinking.

I’m fine with looking my age but it made me address something that had been bubbling away under the surface for a while: I felt tired, haggard, worn out and I was beginning to lose my confidence. It occurred to me that I’d stopped making an effort in the same way I used to – I’d stopped painting my nails (something I do religiously), my hair was looking uncared for and I just wasn’t myself. I resolved to change something. I booked a botox appointment with Dr Willis.

A week after the appointment I was excited to see changes – I could still frown, raise my eyebrows and do all the things I expect my face to be able to do but it had started to un-furrow itself. Two weeks later I looked brighter, happier and my face seemed more open.

As with all good treatments you can’t see that I’ve had anything done, I don’t look 25 and you can still see expression on my face. But I don’t look tired – or haggard – or as though I’m bearing the weight of the world on my face. The biggest difference, though is to how I feel. I’m brighter, more confident, happy, my nails are freshly painted, my hair done and I feel like I’ve had a new injection of energy and life. The baby and puppy are still, between them, waking up most nights but botox can’t fix everything.

Women are beautiful in whatever shape or size they come and growing old is something we should all do with pride. Our face tells the story of our lives – but being proud of who we are doesn’t mean that we can’t make the best of ourselves if we want. Botox doesn’t remove our character, our personality or our story – it helps to remove the haggard, the tired and, in my case, restores confidence and energy.

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