NOURISH YOUR MIND, NOT JUST YOUR BODY
This is my story for Nourish The Guide. I wanted to share it with people here to highlight how we need to be nourishing our minds, as well our bodies. Also I wanted to share how Nourish has helped me overcome a very stressful and worrying time.
FROM THE INSIDE OUT
Nourishing ourselves starts from the inside out and it begins with our minds. Using the knowledge we store in our minds to make healthy choices for example, can be very constructive; what we choose to eat and do with our bodies based on that knowledge can set us on a road to a healthier and happier life. However, there is a part of the mind that can be very deconstructive if we choose to listen to it. We all know it – and I describe it as the critical voice we hear about ourselves. What the voice tells us is different depending on our own values and self worth. It could criticise our appearance, our capabilities at work, our personality traits…you’ve all heard it yourself – many a time I’m sure. Yet we should not be ‘feeling’ with our minds. But how many of us believe that critical voice and feel bad about ourselves when we hear it? That voice got the better of me last year.
In a time of ageless women in their 30s and 40s, the voice I heard told me I would look much better without the crows feet that had deepened and set into the skin around my eyes. I felt I was looking much older than my peers (comparison is the key to unhappiness I might add) and I turned it into a ‘problem’ for myself. Then one day, talking to a trusted friend who is also a physio, I was put on the botox path – one which I did willingly and without encouragement I will add.
MY BOTOX PATH
Eighteen months later, after my first injections, I am recovering from severe side effects that occurred after the last round of botox (there were 4 in total.) I must admit, I had noticed milder side effects after the previous three treatments, but I didn’t listen to my body. The critical voice was more powerful than my own reasoning and logic. The symptoms occured in May, one month after the injections. I had come down with a pretty bad cold and two days into it, my health spiralled rapidly.
MY BOTOX SIDE EFFECTS
Here is a list of symptoms for your information: Tension headaches that felt like my head was going to explode, dizziness, blurry vision, dry mouth, loss of appetite, numbness in my right arm, facial swelling and indentation, panic attacks, shortness of breath, neck and back stiffness, frozen face and jaw, sinus pressure, ringing in my right ear and severe fatigue. When all these things happen at once, it is completely debilitating and depressing. I struggled to look after my children, I could not exercise and I slept most afternoons through sheer exhaustion. I was a wreck and felt worse about myself than I did before I had the botox. How could I have done this? I just wanted my wrinkles back and my health to recover to how it was.
BOTOX MADE ME SICK
It was after several nights of panic attacks and continued shortness of breath, that I took myself to A&E. It was a Sunday morning and the only place I could think of to find a doctor. All my stats appeared normal despite what I was suffering. The doctor I saw dismissed my symptoms as linked to botox and recommended I see a psychiatrist for anxiety. I was prescribed an anti-anxiety medicine to calm the nervous system, which helped me through my worst weeks and days. Other doctors I saw thereafter, although more supportive and believed that botox was the cause, had also not heard of these side effects and could only recommend pain relief to alleviate the symptoms. I was referred to a neurologist who confirmed these were symptoms of botox but that they would pass in 3-4 months, as the toxin is eliminated from the system in this time and effects are only temporary. Simply put, I just had to wait it out.
RECOVERY FROM BOTOX
Very very gradually I got better. I changed my diet and began to live more normally, without taking the anti-anxiety medicine and without fear. And when I was feeling good again, four months after the symptoms began, I had a relapse. I think triggered by exercise. Though not as severe, I was even more concerned about my health – had I done permanent damage? Will I ever get better and back to my pre-botox active self?
SEEKING NATURAL HELP
And that’s when I looked to Nourish The Guide for help. Their health conscious, positive and proactive approach to looking after yourself struck a cord with me. It had been there all along and now I wish I’d used it earlier. I’ve found great support using recommended people in Nourish. I’m working with a Naturopath and following a detox programme to eliminate the toxins which are still in my system, six months in. I have also seen a doctor, who has requested specific blood tests and is looking more closely at my symptoms with a holistic approach to my well-being. It could be that a stressful lifestyle, combined with the toxin and the cold virus caused my auto immune system to crash. It’s all theory. No one really knows.
WHO TO TRUST TO ADMINSTER BOTOX?
I know I will be fine. It’s been a tough journey and one I am still on, but one that I have learned greatly from. I wanted to share it for several reasons. Firstly, I can state first hand, botox is not as safe as it is made out to be. If you do choose to use it, do your research first. Never, ever trust a practitioner who says the only side effects they know of are headaches. There are many many more besides headaches and you should to be aware of them. Furthermore, if you do not experience side effects the first time around, it doesn’t mean you won’t get them the next time or even the next. Also if you experience mild side effects, take caution in receiving any more botox as it might be a warning that your body is reacting badly to the toxin. Listen to your body.
Secondly, if my experience shows anything, it’s that not all doctors are aware of the terrible side effects botox can cause. I have felt like an anomaly and prior to my Nourish guides, nobody has really known what to do with me or what advice to give. That was a pretty scary place to be in.
WHAT I HAVE LEARNED
Throughout all of this, even in my darkest moments, I had to think of the positives to draw from. Unsurprisingly, I am much more conscious of what I put in my body; botox or the like is not an option. Also I am content with wrinkles. They show my age but I am my age and I want to be my age. Not ten years younger. In fact, I’ve never been happier in my own skin because what I really learned is that what’s truly important is being able to enjoy my life under my values – having wrinkles has no bearing on the happiness my family brings or going for a run or cooking a delicious meal for friends. If it’s not a problem to what’s really important to you in life, don’t try and fix it.
IF I COULD TELL YOU ONE THING…
So if you do one thing today and every day thereafter, do this:
When you look in the mirror and hear that critical voice, choose not to believe it. Acknowledge it’s there, it always will be, as we are only human after all. But rather than listen to it and believe it, replace it with five positive thoughts or distract yourself – listen to music, do something active. Anything to avoid a negative feeling manifesting and causing you to go down a destructive pathway. Ultimately the one person you can always rely on for kindness to you – is you.