"BOTOX HAS RUINED MY LIFE. IT HAS STOLEN SO MUCH FROM ME."
Tomorrow marks one year since my injections.
One year ago today, I saw a picture of myself that appeared to me like I had a wrinkle in my forehead. I was actually feeling halfway decent about how I looked at the time. I had lost some weight, I felt healthy, my skin was healthy and vibrant. But, I remember looking at that picture and thinking, "Man if I could just get rid of that one wrinkle." The next day I heard an ad on the radio for a special on Botox. My kids were at school and I had nothing to do for the day, so I spontaneously drove to the clinic that the advertisement was for. They had a walk in appointment available. I told them all I wanted to do was the one small spot that bothered me between my eyebrows. I told them I was recently widowed and wanted to do something for my self-confidence. I told them that I was a young mother, of young kids and I wanted to do "a little something for myself". They told me it was safe. They told me I needed much more Botox than just between my eyebrows. They told me I would love Botox in my crows feet and a little filler in my smile lines too. They told me I was going to love the results and look better than ever.
They told me not to massage the area or lie flat for 24 hours, but after that time I could do anything I wanted and it would be fine. I wish I could say at the one year mark that I was on my way to recovery. I wish I could say that my nightmare was getting better and maybe even coming to an end. It’s not. I'm not one of the lucky ones. I am not better at the one year mark. My body is worse now than ever. Symptoms change. It’s not always the same thing, but I have as many problems now as I did at the beginning. The debilitating anxiety and terror have lessened. But that’s it. I’m left here with a severely damaged body. I am left with a severely disfigured face. I don’t look anything like I did one year ago. I wanted to celebrate the one year mark by saying that I’m getting better and that things are going to be OK. I’m entering the one year mark as a survivor and that’s about it. Every day, I survive this nightmare. I only do that because I have children to live for.
I want to believe it will get better but I’ve lost my faith in that. I will continue to live because my children need me. Botox has ruined my life. It has stolen so much from me. It has made me extremely sad. It has made an already hard situation in life at least 1000 times harder than it ever had to be. All from one wrinkle. The wrinkle is still there along with so many others now. I’ve lost friendships. I’ve destroyed relationships. Even my own kids have lived through things that I would have never wished on them, like seeing their mother struggle the way I have. That’s where I am one year after my very first Botox injections. I urge you to never touch this poison. Never let anybody you know touch this poison either. There’s not one situation that I can think of that is worth even 1% of what this last year has done to me. Photo credit: Alina Vilchenko