An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

I should have put the camera down to help her up, but, um, I didn’t

  • That picture is hilarious!

    Thank you for sharing your stories…you have a gift, and you have touched so many people, Heather.

    You be well, too.

  • goli

    do I dare do the whole “YAY! I’m first” jig?

  • as a fellow medicator, I very much understand that post about suicide – I spent months thinking the same thing. I still have my bad days, and don’t really have the support system that others do, but nothing like inner resources, eh? Thanks for all the laughs, dooce – you make a LOT of people very, very happy. 🙂

  • eco2geek

    Dooce, you’re hysterically funny, fearless, and wise.

    That’s actually a scary picture. The background, her eyes, and her mouth are all deep pools of darkness.

  • Good morning all. Long time “listener” first time “caller”. I know, that’s pure cheese.

    OLD NAVY! And coupons in the mail! How can I score some coupons?

    Heather, I love your blog. You have an amazing family and I enjoy reading about your lives.

    As for grabbing the camera when your kid was screaming and probably needed help, I would do the same with my kids! Haha.

  • slick

    hahah! that’s too cute. thanks for making me smile this morning 🙂

  • That is sheer and utter helplessness at it’s purest form. Leta, you poor thing! 😀

  • ARGH! I meant “ITS” — not “IT’S”.

    Sorry…I’m *really* anal about that.

  • Heather, have Leta’s top teeth come in yet?
    It doesn’t look like they have from this angle, but I could be mistaken.

    I was just wondering how her teething went? Right now, my kid is in teething hell.

  • Thud.

    That’s the sound of me mentally hitting the floor with the suicide news. I know just how you feel, having suffered depression for several years now (probably more than I realized). I take my meds, yes I do. And I try to look out for my friends who seem to be in the same state I was.

    A good friend recently started taking anti-depressants. She’s having a hard time with the side-effects and is working to get the right medication/dose. I hear her grumble and can’t help think, “It’s so good to have you around to complain.”

    It’s good to have you, too, Heather.

  • What would life be like if you didn’t get to make fun of your child’s helplessness every once in a while? 🙂

  • Hey, the Dooce. I wanted to say a lot more people than you are thankful you are alive. A lot more people than just your family and friends.

    The title “You Be Well For Me” gives me chill bumps.

  • angela

    Aren’t those GAP coupons?

    By the way, all of the people who post just to be first (and aren’t) really annoy me.

  • Cori

    gotta love Old Navy! hate those damn commercials though!

  • Of course you grab the camera first. How else will you have proof that your children were like most childre, out of control. I take pictures of my kids so when they grow up and are telling their shrinks just how horrible I was I can kick in the door and be all like “Liar, liar, pants on fire!”

  • (Cute kid, per usual. Chuck could replace “Magic” as the Old Navy dog.)

    My teenage son is under psychiatric care. Those claims…and no other for assorted medical services…are bounced back to us after nearly every appointment. The Dr’s office claims to process and code them correctly, the insurance company says the office didn’t OR that they never received the claim and then the corporation that runs the Dr’s office (and nearby hospital) sends shit letters saying we owe them money still. In the billholder, behind my checkbook, on any given day, is the latest statement w/ who I spoke to at the office, insurance and corp. level and the date such-and-such check was sent. I had surgery for Crohn’s in August, was in the hospital for 5 days (!) and all of THAT (!) was processed without anyone saying “blip.” Gaslighting, me thinks.

  • AndreaBT

    Angela, chill…it’s just a game 🙂 No one takes it that seriously, neither should you.

    And I’ve got quite a few pictures of my daughter when she was screaming or otherwise upset. I want to remember ALL parts of her childhood (and darn if she wasn’t just as cute when she was screaming) 🙂

  • Colleen from NJ

    Leta: “these coupons are for December? I can’t wait that long!”

    Heather, your last post will touch a lot of people (I’m sitting here with my nose running in my yogurt). We just got a new governor here in NJ whose wife had horrible depression, so mental health care reform is one of his top priorities. I hope it catches on. I hope that poor family will be supported.

  • Thank you for your seemingly effortless way of putting things in perspective. From the sobering story of your sister’s neighbor to the girlish glee in which you photograph your (suffering) child, you master the art of life’s balance. It takes nothing for me to tell you thanks for sharing, so I will. 🙂 Dooce is a good place to visit daily.

  • betty

    You can give her paper and she doesn’t reduce it to a slimp pulp and choke on it? My 10 month old is forbidden from paper contact. Even those seemingly sturdy board books get gnawed to mush.

  • maggie

    Oh Heather-

    I have two comments:

    1. Thank you for sharing your story and helping others come to terms with mental illness. It’s ironic that sometimes the better insurance you have, the more trouble you have paying for psychiatric care–for example, some private insurers will only pay for a 3 day stay at an inpatient psychiatric unit with 3 months of follow-up outpatient care, while medicaid will pay for someone to sit in a hospital for a year if necessary, pay for all their meds, and allow the follow-up care the people need (granted, it will likely be at a public hospital, but the doctors there are, if anything, more dedicated to their patients). It’s very frustrating to see patients who are high-functioning in society forced to cope on their own and bear the expenses out of pocket–these kinds of financial stressors are quite anti-therapeutic and are responsible for many people going off medication before it’s really safe. This is not the way our society should work!

    2. I believe Leta is thinking, “50% off fleece pullovers?! I’m so there. If I start screaming and waving the coupons, mom will have to bring me shopping!” She’s going to be a handful when she turns 13…

    Take care, Heather.

  • Leta is channeling her inner Morgan Fairchild.

  • Ten bucks says she started eating those coupons shortly after the pic was taken.

  • I have so many pictures of my daughter screaming, obviously me NOT helping. These are the best pictures I think. Talk about showing the little monster’s true side! 😉

    Awesome post by the way. I’m sure you realize how many people you touch (and help) everyday. Thank you.

  • I’d be crying too if I realized they were only for 10% off.

  • Alex: it’s ok to be anal about that stuff. You are not alone.

    Have you read Eats, Shoots & Leaves yet? Vindication for folks like us.

    Dooce: the more that people like you talk about mental illness and the more that people like us read about it, hopefully the sooner we’ll change attitudes toward it. Keep it up.

  • OMG! GAP, OLD NAVY and BANANA REPUBLIC!!!! Wooohoo….time to go online shopping….I can use ONE CARD to shop at ALL THREE! Leta just wanted to do some online shopping, I think…’I don’t want to play with these damn coupons, I want to GO SHOPPING!’

    On a different note, an acquaintance of mine killed himself back in August by hanging. He left his wife and 18 month old…plus 2 other children from previous wives. He was only 34. I am still in shock and sometimes I think, maybe if I would have been nicer…but that wasn’t the problem. I’m angry at him for doing it to his family but mostly, angry at him because I can’t tell him off for doing it…strange, I know.

  • Thank you for writing about this. My ex *finally* took the step of checking himself in to a facility. I’ve been so worried about him for so many years that I had reached the point of hopelessness; I do hope that this step will be the first he takes to wellness. It’s encouraging to read about others who have been down that low and made it back to the surface.

  • Me myself and I

    Dooce, you are so brave, and you inspire me every day. I too suffer from clinical depression, and have for twenty or so years. I’m still not quite brave enough to tell very many people, but I’m getting there. One day I’ll “come out.” Although my mental illness is hereditary, it is also related to severe abuse I suffered as a child, so the ‘coming out’ thing is so very complicated.

    Thanks, Dooce, for bringing lots of light to my days!

  • This is one of those pictures she’ll try to hide when she gets older. Wait… she CAN’T… it’s on the INTERNET!

    Heather, I share the admiration of your other readers. You are fantastic, girl! I can’t stop reading your amazing stories.

  • My mom has a photo of me, age one, stuck under the couch from the waist up. I was trying to find magazines, got stuck, and instead of coming to my rescue, my mom had herself a little photo shoot.

    Great photo. Just be prepared to listen to Leta nag you about leaving her in such dire conditions for the rest of your life. 😉

    Once again, thanks for being so open about depression. I’ve had it and anxiety disorder for years, and the both went out of control after my daughter’s birth in Feb. I’m amazed at how misunderstood and stigmatized these conditions remain. Just this week I had a confrontation on my blog about this. The ignorance truly amazes me, but it’s the brave people who come forward and speak honestly who will change that.

  • Hey — Niffer & Alex – you would also like this:

    (note to self – obtain copy of Eats, Shoots & Leaves)

  • Whoa…10% off! Why don’t I get those coupons???

    Oh yeah…Leta’s cute, too…

  • AMy

    Heather, thank you for sharing your story. I too have had a life long struggle with depression and in 1995 was hospitalized and so began more radical forms of treatment. I am so much better now. I agree with you that mental illnesses are still stigmatized and still treated as lesser by insurance companies and many medical professionals. We have had 3 suicides in the last month and a half here and it’s been so difficult. At the same time, I have been so thankful that I am still here. There but for the grace of God go I.

  • Amy

    Heather, thank you so much for sharing your story and your family photos!

    We have had 3 suicides to deal with in the past 2 months. It’s been so hard, but I too was suicidal about 10 years ago and hospitalized and am so glad I was rescued, treated and am still here. There but for the grace of God go I.

  • OH, boy so much SCRUMPTIOUSness!!! The face she is making is so: “Damn, in my calculations i didn’t have to fall! I just had to scream!”

  • Reminds me of a picture we have of my brother when he was little, stuck in one of those big tinker toy buckets. Classic!

    Also, please tell me the coupons came out ok.

  • That should be the new Old Navy commercial. The pitch: Old Navy coupons can make your baby happy. What you can make them believe is that you handed Leta the coupons and right after this picture she smiled. Or maybe not. Cute as always. Great post about depression. Too many people don’t understand this disease and the affect it can have on lots of people. Glad you are doing so well.

  • I like how it looks like she’s just tossed the coupons aside. Now she likes ’em, now she don’t!

    (On a side note, how could coupons for Old Navy goodness not keep her entertainted for, like, SIX minutes??)

  • Today is National Survivors of Suicide Day.

    There is an excellent web site with more information on prevention, awareness, research, etc.

    It can be found at:

    Adorable photo of Leta- as usual!

  • My mom has a picture of me when I was Leta’s age sitting in a very large pot full of water, naked. I’m screaming my head off in the picture, and you can see my aunt in the background laughing.

    Cute picture, too.

  • You know it doesn’t just happen to babies. My freshman year of college I got stuck underneath my roomates bed with my arms pinned. What did they do? Take a picture.

  • Danielle

    I too have a picture of my face flushed, and clearly upset, because my older sister convinced me it would be _fun_ to put on a winter coat and sit in a bucket (as if it were a sled) so she could push me around the carpeting in the house.

    Then I got too hot.

    and I was stuck.

    and crying.

    and my Mom took a picture of me.

    I used to think it was a bit atrocious that they left me hot and crying while they took a picture. Now, I think it is funny. 🙂

    thank you again, dooce. I know I take up a lot of space from time to time…. (heck, most (all) of the time)

    Hope you are having a great weekend.

  • That child is so high maintenence. It’s like watching an episode of Melrose Place.

    Gawd, she’s fantastic, eh.

  • Well, it was a good photo op. 🙂

  • KidRock

    High-maintenance 9 month old infant? Melrose Place? Karen, I hope you were kidding!

    My stepfather used to say: Children should be seen and not heard, and not seen very much at that.”

    I am sure Leta will never wonder if she was loved or wonder if she was important to her family.

  • sab

    you are the type of mom I want to be!

  • dianne

    Howdy – beautiful kid there! Even in her moments of desperation about the fun quote runnint out on a coupon… lol…
    On the suicide note, my late husband suicided almost four years ago. I was with present in the house when he did it, and had tried to get a gun away from him for a couple of hours before he finally got away from me. He stepped outside – and the end of the world we had together ended. The end of his life has been a difficult thing to survive, and I can relate to your thoughts about ending the pain you felt. There are times when life is really challenging that I realize that without seeing the inner light in the people around me, and within myself, I might be one of those statistics myself. You’re totally right about the insurance companies. My therapist has to fight with them after John died.. so that I could stay in therapy for just a few sessions. I’m thankful to have had a therapist that actually cared. And a light within myself that I just wasn’t willing to see fade away just yet.

    Hugs to you girl. Good to know you’re doing okay….



  • That’s the face I made this morning when the waitress cleared my coffee away before I’d finished it!

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

read more