The pioneering mommy blogger Heather Armstrong, who laid naked her struggles as a mother or father and her battles with melancholy and alcoholism on her website Dooce.com and on social media, has died at 47.
Armstrong’s boyfriend, Pete Ashdown, mentioned he discovered her Tuesday night time at their Salt Lake Metropolis dwelling. He mentioned the trigger was suicide.
She had two kids along with her former husband and enterprise accomplice, Jon Armstrong, started Dooce in 2001 and constructed it right into a profitable profession. She was one of many first and hottest mommy bloggers, writing frankly about her kids, relationships and different challenges at a time that non-public blogs had been on the rise.
She parlayed her successes with the weblog, on Instagram and elsewhere into ebook offers, placing out a memoir in 2009, “It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Child, a Breakdown and a A lot Wanted Margarita.”
That yr, Armstrong appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Present” and was on the Forbes checklist of essentially the most influential ladies in media.
In 2012, the Armstrongs introduced they had been separating. They divorced later that yr. She started courting Ashdown, a former U.S. Senate candidate, almost six years in the past. They lived along with Armstrong’s kids, 19-year-old Leta and 13-year-old Marlo. He has three kids from a earlier marriage who frolicked of their dwelling as nicely.
He informed the Related Press that Armstrong had been sober for greater than 18 months, and lately had a relapse. He didn’t present additional particulars.
Armstrong didn’t maintain again on Instagram and Dooce, the latter a reputation that arose from her incapability to rapidly spell “dude” throughout on-line chats. Her uncooked, unapologetic posts on every little thing from being pregnant and breastfeeding to homework and carpooling had been usually infused with profanity. As her reputation grew, so too did the barbs of critics, who accused her of dangerous parenting and worse.
One in every of her posts on Dooce spoke of a earlier victory over consuming.
“On October eighth, 2021 I celebrated six months of sobriety on my own on the ground subsequent to my mattress feeling as if I had been a wounded animal who wished to be left alone to die,” Armstrong wrote. “There was nobody in my life who may presumably comprehend how symbolic a victory it was for me, albeit … one fraught with tears and sobbing so violent that at one level I believed my physique would cut up in two. The grief submerged me in tidal waves of ache. For just a few hours I discovered it arduous to breathe.”
She went on: “Sobriety was not some thriller I needed to clear up. It was merely taking a look at all my wounds and studying the right way to stay with them.”
In her memoir, she described how her weblog started as a technique to share her ideas on popular culture with faraway buddies. Inside a yr, her viewers grew from just a few buddies to 1000’s of strangers around the globe, she wrote.
Increasingly more, Armstrong mentioned, she discovered herself writing about her private life and, ultimately, an workplace job for a tech startup in California, and “how a lot I wished to strangle my boss, usually utilizing phrases and phrases that will embarrass a sailor.”
Her employer discovered the location and fired her, she wrote. She took it down however began again up once more six months later, writing about her new husband, Armstrong, and the way unemployment had compelled them to maneuver from Los Angeles to her mom’s basement in Utah.
She was quickly pregnant. The being pregnant supplied “an limitless trove” of content material, she wrote, “however I actually believed that I might give all of it up as soon as I had the newborn.”
She didn’t, happening to chronicle her highs and lows as a brand new mom.
“I don’t suppose I might have survived it had I not supplied up my story and reached out to bridge the loneliness,” she wrote.
At its peak, Dooce had greater than 8 million month-to-month readers, a wholesome following that allowed her to monetize her on-line presence.
Armstrong was raised in Memphis, Tenn., within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints however left the religion after graduating from Brigham Younger College and transferring to L.A. She suffered power melancholy for a lot of her life however wasn’t recognized and handled till faculty, in keeping with her ebook.
In 2017, after the unraveling of her marriage, the web star dubbed “the queen of the mommy bloggers” by the New York Occasions Journal took a tumble in reputation as social media got here into its personal.
Her melancholy grew worse, main her to enroll in a medical trial on the College of Utah’s Neuropsychiatric Institute. She was put in a chemically induced coma for quarter-hour at a time for 10 classes.
“I used to be feeling like life was not meant to be lived,” Armstrong informed Vox. “If you end up that determined, you’ll strive something. I believed my youngsters deserved to have a cheerful, wholesome mom, and I wanted to know that I had tried all choices to be that for them.”
In 2019, she wrote her third ebook, “The Valedictorian of Being Lifeless: The True Story of Dying Ten Occasions to Reside,” about her experiences with the therapy.
“I need folks with melancholy to really feel like they’re seen,” she informed Vox.
Armstrong attributed, partially, a few of her previous emotional spirals to sharing her life on-line for thus lengthy.
“The hate was very, very scary and really, very arduous to stay by,” she mentioned within the interview. “It will get inside your head and eats away at your mind. It turned untenable.”
In case you or a liked one is contemplating suicide, please name the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.