An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Rumbling volcano

I have many things that I want to say, things I want to talk about, have wanted to talk about for months, and I’m trying to figure out where to begin. A part of me is afraid that if I start talking I will not stop, because I have been bottling it up for so long and the pressure is strong enough to blow my ears off my head. When that happens I will be sure to catch it all on video so you can watch the gore unfold in slow motion.

Today I’m just going to say thank you for the kind email and the words of encouragement. I have read all of it, and I’m not sure there is any possible way to respond to all of it.

Sometimes the Internet can be so dumb that it makes you want to carve your brain out with a ladle:

“found you blog today and its total shit!!!! loser!!!!”

Such things make me grieve for America.

Other times you realize that your life is made so much better and brighter by the Internet:

“Why is it so (strangely) interesting to read someone else’s grocery receipt? And is it a Utah thing to call them ‘sunflower nuts’? They are SEEDS, dammit. An assumption on my part: perhaps Mormons can’t call them seeds because that is the germinating SEX part of a plant and what a scorching sin to put SEX parts in your mouth.”

The latter, fortunately, far outweighs the former, and the support I’ve read in my inbox over the last few days is a perfect example of one of those instances. Thank you for sending me your optimism. And also for sharing your well-founded assumptions about the Mormons. The one about how they sacrifice puppies in the temple? Totally true.

To show my gratitude I’ve put together a short video of that which keeps me from jumping off the roof of the house, although there are times when the argument could be made that it is she who would drive me to climb up there in the first place. Yesterday Leta and Jon were playing hide and seek and I was able to catch a small sequence in which she ran toward me with her funny toddler waddle, and as gross as this sounds, and as mad as I will be at myself later for writing this, I watch this and I know everything is going to be okay.

Or at least it will be after I smack a few pedestrians with my car. That would feel better than Prozac.

Launch video (4 MB Quicktime file)

Soundtrack is “Emotion 98.6” by Mylo.

  • Another stranger/fan wishing you well and saying thanks for the laughs and tender moments. I wish there were magic words to make the black clouds lift.

  • Kristin

    Hi Heather,
    I have never commented either, but after reading this and the latest ‘Dear Leta’ entry, I felt compelled to say something. You have no idea how many of us moms feel the same way you do when it comes to being a better mother. Every day I cry because I feel like I could (and should) do more with my daughter, and I don’t. After working all day, I’m tired and crabby. I would like to say that I don’t spend the majority of my free time on the computer or laying in bed battling depression, but I do. When I look at my little girl, I feel like I’m letting her down and she doesn’t even know it yet. She just smiles and kisses my face, and continues to play as if everything in the world is absolutely wonderful.
    When I read what you wrote, I couldn’t help but feel some relief.
    Thanks for being you, and for continuing to write.

  • I too have been depressed, I know I can’t say anything that will get you out of it but I’m going to say it all anyway:

    Leta is a beautiful girl, and she is lucky to have you both. I love reading your blog and I check it (sometimes more than once) daily. Do your best to ignore the rediculous people that call you a loser because there is a far greater population who loves your blog. We are all concerned for you and wish you a quick end to the dark cloud.

    Best Wishes

  • The Climb

    Climbing up a mountain,
    Pulling yourself higher and higher.
    Out of the pit of misery.
    Things seem to look brighter.
    Grass is growing, Birds are singing,
    And the sun emerges from theclouds.
    Then you start to slip,
    To lose your grasp,
    And down you fall.
    Not quite to the bottom,
    Just teetering on a ledge,
    Could you go over at any moment
    Have you the strength to climbagain?
    The pain of your cut soul
    Burns like a fire,
    The anger, hurt and frustration
    Come flooding back into yourmind.
    The fight for survival starts again.
    Overcome the fear,
    Search for the holds,
    Rely on the support from before.
    I know it’s going to be difficult,
    But you did it once,
    You can do it again.
    Remember, you’re not the only one –
    Out there are other climbers
    Fighting their own battles,
    Searching their own soul
    And conquering their own mountains.

    — Emma Nurton

    Wishing you all the strength to climb to the top of the mountain. You are a brave woman Heather. Sending nothing but good thoughts your way.

  • Will you think I’m a total loser if I tell you that I thought about you and your family A LOT this weekend? I worried about you like I’ve known you for years, and of course I don’t and haven’t. I just know what you write for all of us and how much it affects me.

    I’m also so unbelievably in awe of your willingness to be open about depression. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. What you do? It’s important. Please keep doing it. I want to read about you and Jon dancing inappropriately at your 50th wedding anniversary.

  • Eitak

    I’ve been reading for quite sometime, and I’m saddened to read that you’re going through such a rough time. Your daughter is absolutely beautiful and watching the way she ran towards you almost made everything in MY world seem right and she’s not my kid (nor do I dellusionally think she is, just for the record). Hopefully you just need time to get back to a better place.

    And as far as those pedestrians, well I say track down the IP addresses of the jerks that sent the rude comments and go on a road trip 🙂

  • That was really moving. The only thing more adorable than a running, laughing child is a child doing all that in slow-mo with cool music in the background.

    Hang in there, love. Many people pulling for you.


  • I love when she does the little squeal/jump to the side when she hears Jon. I got to spend time with my friend’s cousin’s children for [Canadian] Thanksgiving and I was so content during that time. Leta is absolutely beautiful.

  • I want one just like her !!!!

    About the winding down thing…
    Hitting a pedestrian with your car is fine, but you get more points for an old lady (bonus points if she’s wearing a hat) or for a bicycle… I’m aiming for the hat-wearing-bicycle-riding-granny…

    Hang in there ; we need you !!

  • jill

    I too suffer from depression. I’m lucky and have been really good for a couple of years now. I still have to be careful. Some days I yell. Some days I cry. Some days I wish I was my friend who’s alcoholic man whore of a husband just left and now she gets to start over. Things are looking pretty low when that sounds like an attractive life situation.

    I have an unbelievable husband who works from home and 2 amazing children. Some days I’m crazy but most days I’m really well. I know this is how it will always be for me. Every episode brings new insight and growth. Every episode gets better now. Now, I love my life with all it’s madness, not in spite of it.

    I’m wishing you betterness.
    Thanks for bringing me belly laughs. Thanks for bringing me tears. Thanks for bringing me perspective.


  • anggraz

    I enjoy looking at your beautiful photography. I am envious of your talent for that and your writing. I wish you a speedy recovery.

  • I know what you mean about having bottled things up so long that you don’t know where to begin. Although lately I think a big portion of my hesitance to write comes from my new in-laws religiously reading my blog for something to get upset about.

    I’ve found that taking things one day at a time is the only way to get through it – but first you have to believe that you can get through it. You are right when you say that, ultimately, things will be okay. I wish you the best!

  • what a cheesy and yet so beautiful video. the music made it just perfect. i am so happy to see her walking like that and i’m wishing you all the strength to get through the tough times.

  • thanks for sharing all you do, and please continue to share. Your creativity is beautiful, and I’m awed by the love you show for your family. It’s obvious that they love you back just as much. I hope to someday have a family like yours.

  • Bethany

    That totally made me cry. Then I ran over to Itunes to see if I could find the song.

    Stay strong guys!

  • OMG, she *runs* now. Awesome.

    As for jumping off your roof… Heather, I’ve seen pictures (remember that one of you in front of the garage and the camera people told you to wear that sassy snappy white shirt). You’re tall. I thinking jumping off your roof would be like you hopping place, wouldn’t it?

  • I think you should make these little movies of Leta and John and keep them for the days that are bad. I know it sure made me feel good to watch her…made me think about my own girls and how amazing just watching them is. You want to be around for that…make yourself watch. Hell, even tape the bad moments, they are important too. A toddler tantrum that threw you into a tail spin will be hilarious to watch after she goes to bed! Sending you good vibes girl…hang in.

  • Sunshine

    Heather, you lighten our days with your stories and pictures.

    Just know that there’s lots of us out here, all of us standing together to hold you up on the days you can’t do it alone.

    That’s our job — that’s what friends do.

    (count me in the list of those who’ve dragged depression around…the sun will come up — really.)

  • Dear Dooce,

    While I haven’t sent you an email, I will simply support you by visiting, reading and laughing at your words. They are truly awesome, and I hope one day, I will be able to at least replicate a percentage of the comedy value.


  • What a gorgeous video.

    This site is the best gift a child could ever hope for from a parent. Hopefully when Leta’s older she’ll know both you and Jon better than most know their own parents, and know how much you love her, no matter how late you won’t let her stay out.

    I can imagine how painful it must be to have to see the joy and innocence in Leta through the eyes of depression; to love something so much but to feel so inadequate and unworthy for reasons only a CAT scan can explain. She loves you and needs you in a way she’ll never love or need anybody else.

    Keep on going Heather!

  • I watched this with my 2 1/2 year old daughter on my lap and we couldn’t get enough!! Every time it ended she said. “Again, again.” Very sweet!

  • I watched this with my 2 1/2 year old daughter on my lap and we couldn’t get enough! She kept saying “Again, again” when it would end. Too cute!

  • I have so been through this and wish you clarity and people around you who get it. This will pass.

  • leonie

    dear heather,

    i know this won’t help you, but I’ve been hooked to your blog for years now because you’re a brilliant writer. Please go on doing this!
    and please go get help! (if you haven’t already done that)

    all the best for you and your lovely family.

    (from Leipzig, Germany)

  • Anna

    That is a beautiful video! Thanks for sharing.

    You are a blessing to many people, and you are loved. Don’t forget it!

  • So sweet, there aren’t words to describe the feeling. Thank you for sharing this!

  • lightspring

    Here’s hoping you someday find that beautiful inner core of Heather-ness that you’ve become disconnected from, the one that matches the outer-Heather that writes such achingly heartwrenching yet at the same time gut-splittingly hilarious posts about Life that everybody in this room can relate to. You’ve got us in the palm of your hand. I hope you find one day what to do with it.


    And then tell us.

  • That was great– the music really made it. I think about you every day and wish you well.

  • Adorable video! Thank you for that.

    Also? Much love and strength to you and your family. I truly wish for you to be well.

  • Thanks for sharing this video. I’ve been having a rough day with my ‘little heathen’ (18 month old) here in my 39th week of pregnancy. The video helped remind me I need to step back and enjoy the good stuff a little more…

    Just as soon as I get rid of those poopy pants..

  • Funny how a running toddler going to hug her mommy makes me cry. Mine is almost 26 months and watching Leta grow almost parallel to my girl has been a real joy. I know you have been through so much lately; but it is just so good to see your family coming together for you and holding you up, as families should do. Thanks for the cheesey music, by the way.

  • Sharra55

    Heather, I have been reading your blog for almost 2 years. You are a source of joy, laughter, and inspiration. I love your posts and thoughts. You are truly amazing. Thank you for letting us into your life.

  • thebeatofmyrants

    Having just endured my first (and hopefully last) bout of life-crippling depression, my heart aches to hear that the monster’s got you again.

    Take the drugs, do the the therapy, hold your hubby’s hand and “know everything’s going to be okay” when you look at Leta.

    Also know that there are thousands of people out here who mightily appreciate your bright, funny observations on life and want you to, for lack of a more elegant phrase, Get Well Soon.

  • Funny how a running toddler going to hug her mommy makes me cry. Mine is almost 26 months and watching Leta grow almost parallel to my girl has been a real joy. I know you have been through so much lately; but it is just so good to see your family coming together for you and holding you up, as families should do. Thanks for the cheesey music, by the way.

  • bdwriter

    Where have I been that in the nearly 25 years I’ve lived in Utah I’ve NEVER heard anyone, Mormon or other, say sunflower nuts. Quite assumptive, indeed.

    Otherwise, love the site and wish you improved health.


  • I’ve suffered from depression since high school, so I know how dark and endless the low points can be. Try to be kind to yourself. You really are a great mom and a wonderful writer, and you have a lot of people’s good thoughts supporting you. Mine especially. I know you and Jon will get through this.

  • Heather Armstrong is a fantastic and talented writer. Heather Armstrong makes me laugh. Heather Armstrong is my personal role model. I love Heather Armstrong, and I don’t even know her!

  • I’ve been coming here every day for about two years and you’re the reason I started blogging and you’re the reason I have a wonderful group of blogfriends. I’m so sorry that you’re hurting and that the idiots get you down, or make things worse. You will come through this: you’re a wonderful mother to Leta and don’t ever think or let anyone tell you that you’re not. If only all kids were as lucky (or as cute!) as she is.

    Blove. x

  • kmt63

    This is my first time commenting on your blog, but I’ve been reading it for a few months now. I guess I just want to second what everyone else has been saying about how much we hope you feel better soon. I’ve gone through two serious times of deep depression and anxiety. The first happened during my first semester of college and lasted 4 months and then, horribly, it happened again during my first semester as a teacher and lasted again for 4 months. My depression was caused by extreme stress. I like to be in control and it occured when I couldn’t have felt more out of control with what was going on around me. I believe the depression would have lasted longer if I hadn’t made very big changes. It doesn’t really work for me to say, “I understand how you feel,” because I didn’t really like it when people said that to me, but I guess I just really want you to know that I sympathize.

  • rachelquoi

    ok…i guess i have yet to master the commenting-ness, sorry for doubles.

  • Wishing you strength through this tough time.

    I’m hoping that Andrew Bird brightened your day just a little bit, I was almost jumping for joy when I read your piece and found out you’ve discovered him.

    Honestly, he gets better every time you see him, I’ve seen him three times now (one was just a sound check and even that was amazing!).

    His songs never sound the same, but there is always that twinge of nostalgic recognition to them that makes you feel all warm inside. He is truly a genius.

    I’ve always found that music soothes my soul, hope it brings you some comfort as well.

  • stutefish

    Oh, that’s sweet. As someone who has been struggling with depression for more than a decade now, I hear where you are so clearly. “This too shall pass” feels so…empty when you’re in the middle of the shit, but it really is true. Here, have a poem:

  • So kind of you to share Leta with us, so brave to share yourself. You have more support from out here than you could ever know.

  • ha ha!! that is great! 🙂 I could watch that over and over, so I can’t even begin to imagine how it must make you feel!

  • Awesome. Totally, completely happiness-affirming.

    Heather, you’ve gotten through this before. You will get through it this time, too. You will.

  • Whenever you put all of yourself out there for the world to have part and parcel in your life, you are not just welcoming all the kind people, the like-mindeds, and even –I just gotta say it– the schlocky kiss-butts who love *everything* you do; you’re also, unfortunately, leaving the door open for the petty and the otiose to beat you down.

    Be strong and try to avoid dwelling on such nastiness.

  • Dooce, I just wish we could all come over with a casserole and make it better. Please don’t hesitate to ask us if there’s anything we can do. I hope you feel better soon.

  • DDM

    I’m sending every good thought I have your way. They’re pretty sparse here right now too. I’m sorry you’re having a hard time. Everything crossed for you that every day gets a little better.

  • To all the angry people I say:

    Wow, you sound really upset. You can sit in your cubby until you calm down. When you’re ready to talk to me with your regular words, you can come back.

    To you I say:

    I don’t know you, but I totally love you and your family! I’ve never been so compelled to read about/hear songs from/watch videos of a child I’ve never met. Sometimes I wish I was Leta so that I could have such a cool mom (no offense, Mom) who is also so good at storytelling. Don’t stop.

  • she is such a pile of cuteness! you’re a lucky family.

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.

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