Famous “mommy blogger” Heather Brooke Armstrong aka Dooce appeared on the Forbes list of most influential women in media and struggled with depression and alcoholism.
The pioneering “mommy blogger” Heather Brooke Armstrong, who openly shared with her millions of readers her struggles as a mother and her battles with depression and alcoholism on her site Dooce, has died at 47.
Armstrong’s partner Pete Ashdown, a former US senate candidate, told The Associated Press that she died by suicide. He said Armstrong had been sober for over 18 months but had recently had a relapse. He did not provide further details.
"Heather Brooke Hamilton aka Heather B. Armstrong aka dooce aka love of my life," the caption of a selfie of her reads. "July 19, 1975 - May 9, 2023. 'It takes an ocean not to break.' Hold your loved ones close and love everyone else."
Armstrong, who had two daughters, 19-year-old Leta and 13-year-old Marlo, with her former husband and business partner, Jon Armstrong, began Dooce in 2001 and built it into a lucrative career. She was one of the first and most popular mommy bloggers, writing candidly about her children, relationships and other challenges.
Her unapologetic posts gained her much popularity, but also a fair few critics, who accused her of bad parenting and worse. Most recently, she had been criticized for promoting anti-trans sentiments on her blog.
One of her posts on Dooce spoke of a previous victory over drinking.
“On October 8th, 2021 I celebrated six months of sobriety by myself on the floor next to my bed feeling as if I were a wounded animal who wanted to be left alone to die,” Armstrong wrote. “There was no one in my life who could possibly comprehend how symbolic a victory it was for me, albeit ... one fraught with tears and sobbing so violent that at one point I thought my body would split in two. The grief submerged me in tidal waves of pain. For a few hours I found it hard to breathe.”
“Sobriety was not some mystery I had to solve. It was simply looking at all my wounds and learning how to live with them.”
Armstrong appeared on the Forbes list of most influential women in media, and wrote a memoir in 2009 titled 'It Sucked and then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown and a Much Needed Margarita', as well as two other books ‘The Valedictorian of Death’ and ‘Dear Daughter’.