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.

  • i’ve seen through shades of gray before. it sucks a lot. i’m kind of there now. it does get better though.

    and if there’s an album to accompany you through it, it might be The Mysterious Production of Eggs by Andrew Bird.

  • Ahh… the toddler waddle. I’d almost forgotten.. Now I’m going to rummage around and find the old vid of my dots.

    I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time….. Depression is horrid. It really helps when you share your struggles… even though it may not be that super great on your end, it’s a great inspiration to others suffering …

    Your life makes a huge difference.

  • I read so many of the comments, suddenly, ten comments later than when I started. But all of what they say is true (except the idiots, of course); you are not alone, though I know when I was at my lowest I wouldn’t believe that from anyone, much less a stranger from the internet.

    Such an immense outpouring of positive vibes: surely the universe is feeling the Dooce love.

    Thank you for all you share, for your honesty and humor and beautiful family.

  • (HUG)

    That video was just lovely.

  • echo8322

    hi dooce,

    the video of leta is wonderful; her laugh is so beautiful. my bf and i just watched it twice in a row to listen to her laugh! my bf loves leta’s name. she is truly a precious child. lots of love and hope from us to you and your family through this time.

    long-time readers,
    s & t

  • Heather, I am so sorry. I am trying to believe, as others have said, it won’t always be like this, so hard.


  • Gretchie

    Depression is anger turned inward, so maybe turning outwards is a first step towards overcoming depression. I have a friend that did hit someone with his car to feel better. He went through a lot of therapy after that.

    He feels *much* better now.

    Moral of the story: Do what you gotta do, baby!

    Although….. editing and publishing tear-jerking videos of a happy toddler might also help you feel better. And save you a lot of $$ on therapy.

    If they can put flouride in the tap water, why can’t they add Prozac? “Mother had lovely teeth, too bad we never saw them…” Government has it’s priorities all wrong, I tell you.

  • tracy

    What a sweet,giggly girl!! A true blessing!!
    Praying for you! Keep taking it day by day, moment by moment. Many of us have walked in your shoes! You can survive and win! (so many exclamation marks means I really, really mean it!!!!!!!) (((hugs)))

  • SayVandalay

    I have become OCD over the weekend. Or, at least the OC part. Or maybe just the O. I’ve not been able to stop reading your blog. The children are laying in puddles of their own urine and filth, begging for food, and still I stare at this screen, begging for more, MORE!

    Leta = a-freaking-dorable. Is she married yet and/or promised to anyone? I’ve got two eligible toddlers. They both know all of the ABC’s, they sleep through the night, they like to go for leisurely stroller rides, and they love a nice bubble bath. We can write up the marriage contract now, if it suits.

  • Nat W.

    The video won’t load for me. 🙁

    But I totally want to hit some pedestrians today, too.

  • E

    I wrote this a year ago now Heather – I’ve sent it to you a few times but I know you’re busy so here it is again just incase you didn’t get it…

    You’ve inspired me in ways I can’t begin to describe and all I can say is SAY WHAT YOU NEED TO SAY GODAMNIT – we can handle it – we want to hear it – we need to hear it and those that can’t or don’t can RACK OFF! Don’t deprive those of us who live daily for your posts for those who are heart and brain dead. I know you have good friends – one of them is your husband and the thing I’ve discovered about good friends is THEY KEEP COMING BACK…so lets call you letting your Volcano rocks off a Process of Elimination – say it, say it all!

    Here endeth the lecture… m mmm m (that was a big wrap around hug)


    Just when I think I’m being as honest as my conscience and heart will let me, I read Dooce.

    Little Leta is so gorgeous my heart almost went into seizures just scrolling over the pictures. She is almost the age my daughter was when I left my family.

    I had near fatal suicidal depression and hardly remember anything of my daughters early years. Lights on, no-one home.
    I functioned as the person everyone called me but my brain/emotions were doing time in solitary confinement.

    On The Night, I had the pills and glass of water beside the bed. My husband had left for night shift, the children were asleep.

    I had learnt a lot from the last time and had it all planned…take the pills and go to sleep. He would arrive home in the morning just as the children were waking and…whatever.

    Earlier a friend came around and hard worded me “So? What are you going to do about it?”.
    (IT being depression) then left in disgust when I shrugged “idunno”.

    Luckily I have a spiritual army on the ‘other side’ looking after me and after she left there was a tangible parting of the cotton wool feeling clouds that was my brain and a voice said “Your children need you!”
    I can still hear that voice to this day.

    I went to bed, had an unpilled nights sleep and the next morning told my husband I needed to leave, for everyones sake.
    He wrote in a card “I would rather have an alive best friend than a dead wife” and let me go gracefully.

    When they say “It must have been really hard leaving your children” my answer has always been “It wasn’t hard at all – If it had been hard, I know I would have been doing the wrong thing”.

    Thanks Heather B.
    It took me a long time to realise that I took drugs and drank alcohol to bring on being emotionally moved by somethinganything – to experience passion. And in a 3 minute read of this blog, I was moved in the way only being-under-the-influence could move me in the past.

    It is now 11 years since I ‘left the family’ and being confronted with images of children, and what I chose to forfeit, still takes my breath and chokes my heart, but I have no regrets. Leaving was the most courageous and right thing I have ever done and gave me the saying that I live by ‘When you do what’s right for you, you do what’s right for everyone around you’.

    My children have been able to watch me grow up and maybe that’s why, even though they’re teenagers now, we’re all still so in love with each other…

  • Once upon a time, when you were feeling low, someone commented “blogging makes you care about people you don’t even know”. I’ve never forgotten that, and now I say it often myself. So now, I care about you and your family, because your gift for capturing them in writing and in images compels me to.

    You were my first blog, found when another mommy in a “When Baby Comes Home” class caught a whiff of my personality peeking through the fatigue, and told me I should be reading your posts. That was two years and five months ago – and I’ve never stopped reading you, which led me to others, which led me to write a little too.

    I can’t say much more now than anyone else has before me, but I should thank you. It does seem strange to tell someone that you have done more for me than I can ever do for you, and you haven’t known it. And, I want to say that I hope, most sincerely, that all the rough roads will be soon be behind you.

    As for your beautiful daughter running toward you? It’s the way her eyes go for yours, isn’t it? I have to go and blubber a bit now.

  • PinkPoppies

    Hey Heather,

    Having had several friends who have suffered from severe depression, it is inspiring to see you write so candidly about your experience.

    It is a sign of strength to ask for help, not weakness. Knowing what you need and how to get it make such a difference in dealing with this dis/ease of the mind and heart.

    I have had several who made the choice not see another day, and for them it was the absence of any tether to earth including family (both of origin and self created).

    I see Leta and Jon as your anchor, keeping you safe as you cope, and I hope you see them that way too. Having an anchor isn’t something that weighs you down; it keeps you centred, in a safe haven, while the storm rages outside of you.

    Be strong. Be loved. Be yourself.


  • anneelizmary


    (commenting here now; see mine previously to you at Blurbomat). The large number, but small percentage, of your readers, devotees, fans, and friends who have commented here today represent so many more who wish you well.

    Thank you for the video–a gift to us all. Love the giggle the most–especially how it climbs the scale upward like an arpeggio.

  • PinkPoppies

    Hey Heather,

    Having had several friends who have suffered from severe depression, it is inspiring to see you write so candidly about your experience.

    It is a sign of strength to ask for help, not weakness. Knowing what you need and how to get it make such a difference in dealing with this dis/ease of the mind and heart.

    I have had several who made the choice not see another day, and for them it was the absence of any tether to earth including family (both of origin and self created).

    I see Leta and Jon as your anchor, keeping you safe as you cope, and I hope you see them that way too. Having an anchor isn’t something that weighs you down; it keeps you centred, in a safe haven, while the storm rages outside of you.

    Be strong. Be loved. Be yourself.


  • The other day I had a moment where I stopped to think about whether I should reveal the fact that I’ve been down lately on my blog. Would it ruin the tone? Do readers really need to know? Should I protect my own privacy? Will it make me look stupid and whiny? And, perhaps most importantly… could I blog about anything else and make it seem honest, like I wasn’t trying to hide something?

    Then I remembered reading about your tough times on your blog, and it gave me the courage to be truthful on mine. Thank you.

  • emnw

    the only thing that keeps me going is seeing my toddler run. her tiny little body and her big head bobbing along. Its all good.
    count those blessings

  • I’m not even that big of a fan of Kids in general, but I almost cried that was so cute. So cute. Just loop that and watch forever. The giggle, too.

    And speaking as One of The Depressed, hang in there. It’s better than the alternative, even if some days it doesn’t feel like it. Also, jumping off the roof of the house would probably just fuck your knees up and cost you a lot of money.

  • I’m not going to write all that again in the hopes that it was rec’d the first time.

  • Sunshine on legs…

  • LAK

    I too have suffered from depression. I don’t think you can know how terrifing it is unless you have had it yourself. Here is something I read once: One’s spirit will sustain one’s infirmity, but a wounded spirit, who can bear?
    That says it all for me. But here is something else. You will get better. I did.

  • Sweet mother, that is the cutest video ever. 🙂

  • Mich


    I just wanted to say that I read your blog almost every day and I so enjoy it!! It’s made me laugh, and cry sometimes.

    Depression is a hard thing – do what you can do get through it, Leta is just beautiful – I also have a three year old daughter and alot of what you write echos in my own head.

    Just wanted to let you know that you do make a difference.

    Best Wishes


  • I’m laughing because right after I wrote the above post and watched the video that melted my heart….I happened to look at the pre-orange juice photo. There is just something hysterically funny about seeing those two things one right after the other. Or I should say, “feeling” those two things one right after the other.

  • Kids are a paradox aren’t they? As you say, they keep you going on one hand, and on the other you sometimes want to tear your hair out with frustration.

    I can’t watch the vid as I’m still on dialup and it would take forever but I’m sure it’s fabulous.

    Hope you fight your way out the fog!

  • The waddle is priceless but that laugh, whew, that made my eyes tear up. Every parent on the face of the planet has experienced a similar moment and you’ve captured it on film. And yes, when you witness that kind of innocence, absolute perfection and pure love, it’s hard to think there is anything wrong in the world. Weird isn’t it? The heart of a two year old could solve the worlds problems.

  • sam


    I stumbled upon your site very much by accident in July and have been hooked ever since and this is the first time I have commented. I can’t wait to see what you have written and I always look forward to your photos.

    There will always be people out there who will not agree with what you say, write, feel, take photos of, whatever. My theory is that they have small, pathetic, little lives who thrive on attempting to make you miserable. I say screw them. I and so many others enjoy coming back each and every day to peek into your life.

    Please know that there is nothing in life so big that it can’t be solved. The dark days will become bright again.

  • just seeing her run (waddle) after all you all went through is awesome. and her laugh? i wish you could bottle it because it put a smile on my face.

    did someone already ask what music that was on the video? i liked it.

    still wishing you better things through all of this. depression is an ugly monster. i’d like to kick it in its sunflower nuts.

  • She be cute.

    And who’s that unruly seed/nut/germination emailer? I want him/her to come over to my house and make me laugh some more.

  • Damn! I wish my “little old mac” wasn’t so gosh dang slow – I heard everything, and then saw it in a stilted, almost “dial up” kind of way…

    But the sounds MELTED ME.

    I so get this mother hood thing – it’s pretty amazing.

  • mg

    Thanks for showing me (us, really) a whole new way to look at the world. I will keep you close in my thoughts. My lil pookie-sister and I have secretly adopted y’all into our family, and we gossip about how much we like you on the phone.

    Lil’ pookie gave me the best compliment last week. She looked a a photo I had taken and told me it was very Dooce-like. I beamed.

    We’re behind you, Heather.

  • Heather your photo for today – wednesday, the tree – is stunning. And I’m a picky pain in the photography ass. I see something full of hope and fear and beauty reaching up through the empty air to reach the blue sky. I’m an art jerk, right? But really. Gorgeous work.

    Thinking of you.

  • deeryluv

    I found Dooce just months before Leta was born and everytime you post your monthly letter to her I’m amazed — that I’ve been reading for so long, that she remains so beautiful, and that I’ve been trying as long as she is old to get pregnant and haven’t been able to yet. (choke) Your site breaks my heart open. (whisper: I want that too.) You are SO blessed. Thanks for sharing.

  • Lori

    Every day I get and go to work to study depression. Every thought on the millions who suffer. I wonder out loud in my office sometimes, “Hey, who wears their ribbon?” Why can’t the world just get it? If breasts and ovaries and prostates can break, so can brains.

    There are many of us researching. Many. We pray for you. We worry for you. We wish your families and friends strength. We wish you endurance while we work. We hope. Every moment, without ceasing, we hope.

    And thank your for sharing your story and your life with us Heather. My first year of motherhood would have been so isolating had you not shared your truth with me. Kindest Wishes and Prayers, Lorgey

  • samantha

    I, too, think of you as a dear friend whom I’ve never met..

    Take it from me as a formerly housebound agoraphobic.. the days get better. There will be bad days, but with that precious laugh and your family’s love, and the whole host of people like me who feel for you, think of you, and yes, even cry for you, Heather..

    You can do this. We believe in you.

    I’ve read you for years.. I remember catching a link from someone, I can’t remember who.. “Heather had her baby!” So exciting.

    Thank you for sharing with us.. you’ve captured our hearts, we’d like to help you heal yours.

  • Susan Miller

    I really don’t know what to write but felt that I must. Your pain is evident and I do hope the writing assists you in releasing at least some of it. All the cliches go through my mind of what I could say…what I could suggest, but it would be empty because I’m not there. Only you are. The deal has to be that we all must be our own greatest heroes and our staunchest allies for if not then we are surely our own worst enemies. My heart goes out to you and your suffering…may you soon know so much more than you can see now.

  • catnip

    Heather, I’m just dropping by quickly and don’t have to time to read the preceding posts, so if anyone hasn’t suggested this, please check with your doctor to see if you need a higher dose of your antidepressant or need to switch to a different one. Or just try a higher dose on your own. As a “user” myself I’ve found that that both solutions have been required over the years. You do sound depressed, seriously so, even on the antidepressants, so it doesn’t sound like they’re doing their job. I sincerely hope the source of your stress, whatever it is, will be shortlived.

  • becaru

    October is a tough month for depression from my experience…something about the days shortening triggers it, I suspect.
    I hope that you can conjure up that feeling of coming out on the bright side as you did years back.
    Best to you.

  • creak

    Hi Dooce,

    My depression has returned. Knowing I’m not the only one going through this right now helps. Please keep writing.

  • lisa

    You should not regret for an instant admitting that watching this video will make you feel better. Watch it a thousand times if you need to. A million. Until the play button wears out. Leta is the light of your life and it looks like you need a little light right now. Not long ago, having just been left by my (ex)husband, feeling depressed and terrified, my heart decided it was literally broken and began behaving in an alarming fashion. A cardiologist stuck a monitor on it for a few days. When we looked at the read-out, we saw that the moment I picked Jackson up from school my heart began to beat normally again, and stayed that way until I dropped him off at his dad’s house or when he went to bed. When you’re feeling like this you can’t always be the mother you want to be, but the love you obviously have for your beautiful child is a powerful and wonderful thing. It infuses every post you write, every picture, every video.

  • I can’t help thinking that a child with a great laugh like that has a good life. And that the world is a better place with Dooce in it. Thank you for sharing.

  • mkdaugherty

    Oh, and that hugs video on You Tube posted by Hamle Elme above? Gave me goosebumps and made me cry as well. In the best way possible. Thanks!

  • hiko331
  • amymarie

    I’ve read your site since I had my own baby 1 year ago. I’ve never commented (and went through the whole typepad sign in just to say this), but I can’t get enough of that video. You are a gifted artist and I’m so thankful you choose to share your world with us.

  • Sun_Spot_Baby

    Jeeze – for not liking your blog all that much, that lunkhead “George!” sure keeps up with reading it every day!! HA HA!!

    Hang in there, Heather. The colors will come back into your life again. I remember when I had depression, I did not find comedy movies funny (i.e. “Sister Act”) but when my colors came back, I rented the video and watched it again, and it was hilarious! So, too, will this come to pass for you.

  • Dianne Vogler

    Hey Heather-

    From one stranger to another . . .

    The thing about motherhood that I will never understand is that the very thing you live for is the thing that most makes you want to poke your eyes out every day.

    I send good vibes your way – thanks for sharing your honest thoughts!

  • Just noticed that I actually did post yesterday – it just didn’t show up right away! Sorry for the multiple entries!

    Once again, I hope you feel better soon!!!

  • mkdaugherty

    When I start sinking, I don’t want to hear how loved I am, how important it is for me to hang on or, especially, how I’m looked to for inspiration, strength, etc. Then I feel like I have to keep others afloat, along with myself, and who wants that kind of pressure? But here I am, dishing some love your way: Count me among your many supporters who appreciate what you do on a daily basis. I wanted to personally thank you for sharing your struggle as a mother who continues to suffer from depression past the “accepted” post-partum stage some dolt annoyingly dubbed “the blues” – like it’s a basket of puppies or something. Rock on, Heather.

  • Earlier this year one of my best girlfriends who now lives in another city sent me the link to your blog. “You’ll love her”, she said “she reminds me of us”. And you do. You’re irreverant and fun and I love that. I also love how openly you speak about your love of your family. I check in with Dooce everyday and hope you’re able to see the light at the end of the tunnel soon.

  • I tried posting yesterday but it wouldn’t let me for some reason. Here’s to hoping you feel better, and to hoping that people will cease and desist with their ridiculous behavior. I don’t know why people think they can be so nasty, but I guess it is human nature for some. It certainly doesn’t make it suck any less.

    Best wishes.

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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