Happiness is the cheapest face lift

Happy woman2

I was only in my mid 20s when I noticed a faint vertical wrinkle between my eyebrows. I don’t think it was noticeable to others, though. And sometimes the wrinkle would almost disappear in my eyes, too. Really, it depended a lot on the mood I was in. You see, when I was depressed, stressed, and/or frustrated and angry I’d often squint. As I’d squint, my eyebrows grew closer and the wrinkle deepened. When I was happy and bright, my eyebrows lifted and grew further apart, pulling the skin almost ironing out the line. Mood alone did the trick.

I have bipolar disorder, and as years passed, it worsened again. Anger and frustration, and occasional depression were frequent. My squint of “agony” showed itself more often. With that, the wrinkle deepened further with time.

Eventually my mood improved yet again, thanks partially to treatment and a much improved life situation. Happiness and joy, or even elated hypomania/mania, came like the springtime blooming of flowers and fresh air. Suddenly my eyes opened wide again, and they sparkled brilliantly with the sun and the returning warmth. My skin grew rosy and soft. Even that wrinkle between my eyes again grew fainter. My wide smile became a primary focus, not my strife. I walked with a skip, I even danced a bit. Jokes and wit came out of my mouth spreading joy to others in my presence. I flirted with men from 16 to 75. I’d challenge them to guess my age, and inevitably their guesses made me 10 to even 15 years younger, in some cases. And I felt younger! Though my 30s had seemed wasted in mental distress, my early 40s took them back and gave me another chance.

Wrinkle between eyebrows.jpgThose with bipolar disorder know that when moods are “up” (or stable) they often eventually fall. Mine fell and rose again and again. The depression brought me down not only in spirit, but in every way possible. That pesky wrinkle deepened, and my smile reversed direction.  Even my hair began to thin. I gained weight. My skin grew dull. My eyes were no longer bright. It only took a matter of months before my appearance of 30 raced forward in years in a mad sprint.

Too many years of illness has eventually taken some permanent toll. That wrinkle now seems permanently set. Even when I put my fingers on my forehead and pull in opposite directions, a faint line still remains. So what did I do? No, I didn’t get Botox, though I guess I could. I took the cheaper route. Bangs! Hide that sucker! What can’t be seen sort of doesn’t exist. Not just to others, but also to me..

I guess I should consider myself lucky that the wrinkle between my brows is the only one I have at over 45. Perhaps genetics has helped with that. However, it is very clear that happiness and joy can be the best and cheapest face lifts. I now brush my cheeks and paint my lips in rose and smile widely again. People see my eyes sparkle with relief. My walk again takes on the look of a dance or a bird flight.

For all of my readers, please take good care of yourself. Never lose hope. Happiness will return, or it can be found again even if it takes some work and patience. Or for those without depression, but serious stress, lighten your load as much as you can. Such lightening pulls everything upwards. Joy changes perceptions of self and others. Bring on spring!

10 thoughts on “Happiness is the cheapest face lift

  1. shatteredwishes March 16, 2018 / 5:11 pm

    Amazing post!!! I totally notice myself squinting too when angry or even stressed. I am 37, so I don’t quite see that wrinkle yet, but when I do, (or if I do), I will TOTALLY bring on the bangs!! That’s so funny you know because I used to make my own bangs when I was younger. You know, get the scissors and watch the unholy disaster occur!! Haha. In my defense, they weren’t ALL that crooked and terrible, but you could definitely tell that a complete mental patient went ahead and made her own bangs!! But you know, you gotta laugh about it though, right? I mean what else can we really do? Great post though, I have been really enjoying your blog since I started following it. Oh, and say hi to that beautiful parrot friend of yours for me! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • updownflight March 16, 2018 / 5:51 pm

      Thank you so much shatteredwishes!

      You are still, in my view, a very young woman. I still think of myself as young at almost 47. Youth is a mind frame for the most part. My 75 year old dad is young in my mind.

      I bet your bangs were fun to create, however crooked! As for being a mental patient, it can be very serious stuff, but when I’m well I am happy to call myself “crazy”. Crazy in a fun and good way. It’s good to be a little bit sometimes. When we feel good it is a lightness of being. That is another way of lifting ourselves up, in many ways.

      My parrot boy is taking a nap right now. I’ll let him know you said hello. He’s going to be 1 year old in 11 days. I bought him a silly card yesterday.

      Liked by 1 person

      • shatteredwishes March 16, 2018 / 6:13 pm

        Aww thank you so much updownflight! Even though I am 37, I still feel old you know – what can I say, the Bipolar Road I have been traveling has been frickin’ HARD!!! I can literally FEEL all this damn mileage! But, I totally believe you are a young 47 yourself!!

        Yeah, my bangs were awesome, crooked somewhat that I had to lean my neck to the side a bit, but still awesome! Oh, trust me, I absolutely know being a mental patient is a real harsh and tough reality for a lot of us who are truly suffering, but sometimes you just gotta throw your hands up and say, “okay, I have XYZ disorder, I can take it, do your worst!” So yeah, you’re absolutely right in saying that being happy about being “crazy” is a great way to uplift our spirits, I mean, they always say laughter is the best medicine right?

        Awww little parrot nap!! How cute is that!! Aww and happy birthday to your little friend too! I think its so cool that you bought him a silly little card too, you should totally take a picture and post it – you know so all your amazing WordPress followers can celebrate along with you! (Also I really want to see the card too, so that idea might be some selfishness on my part), Haha! ❤

        Liked by 2 people

      • updownflight March 16, 2018 / 6:19 pm

        You gave me great ideas! I will photograph the little guy on his birthday with his presents, card, and maybe cake? Bird cake.

        The worst years of my bipolar illness were between 32 and 40. I understand how it feels like it will never end. But things did get better. Are they perfect? No. Will the years ahead be perfect? Probably not. But there will be good times. We must savor them. And even during hard times find as many simple pleasures as possible, and recognize how we are fortunate. I’m fortunate to have the people I love, my bird boy, and my friends. I’m fortunate that you reached out to me and that I found your blog, too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • shatteredwishes March 16, 2018 / 6:28 pm

        Awww honey, likewise!! Truly!! You know, I will admit to you that age 32 was HARD for me too – I thought I had this bipolar madness beaten, (I went and graduated school, had an amazing boyfriend), then POOF in through the floodgates came all this DAMN EMOTIONAL CRAP that comes with being bipolar that literally poops on everything you had tried so hard to build! UGH!

        But yeah, I am so happy you like my idea for a little “Parrot Birthday Celebration” type post. I would really love if you did that!

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight March 16, 2018 / 6:31 pm

        Sometimes I think of bipolar, and even triggering events, as spiders. They pounce on you unexpectedly, sometimes bite, sometimes first wrap you up in their web.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. NaPropasti March 20, 2018 / 7:18 am

    Thank you for the funny take on the serious wrinkles in life. Looks like you and your parrot pal are an amazing duo who can overcome major situations by self-deprecating wit and laughter. Reminds me of a Kundera’s novel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight March 20, 2018 / 12:42 pm

      I’ve read some Kundera, but should read more. As for my parrot, sometimes he makes me laugh, but occasionally he can be a challenge. I love him despite those times!

      Like

  3. s.e. taylor March 23, 2018 / 5:38 pm

    I’m in my 40’s and the “11’s” between my eyes make me look angry. They are deep. All those years of squinting and scowling. I wish I could pull off bangs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight March 23, 2018 / 7:38 pm

      You could give it a try. Or if they really aren’t your thing, I hope you have many years of happiness ahead of you so big smiles can be the main focus of attention. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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