From New York Times bestselling author and blogger Heather B. Armstrong comes an honest and irreverent memoir—reminiscent of the New York Times bestseller Brain on Fire—about her experience as one of only a few people to participate in an experimental treatment for depression involving ten rounds of a chemically induced coma approximating brain death.

For years, Heather B. Armstrong has alluded to her struggle with depression on her website, dooce. It’s scattered throughout her archive, where it weaves its way through posts about pop culture, music, and motherhood. But in 2016, Heather found herself in the depths of a depression she just couldn’t shake, an episode darker and longer than anything she had previously experienced. She had never felt so discouraged by the thought of waking up in the morning, and it threatened to destroy her life. So, for the sake of herself and her family, Heather decided to risk it all by participating in an experimental clinical trial involving a chemically induced coma approximating brain death.

Now, for the first time, Heather recalls the torturous eighteen months of suicidal depression she endured and the month-long experimental study in which doctors used propofol anesthesia to quiet all brain activity for a full fifteen minutes before bringing her back from a flatline. Ten times. The experience wasn’t easy. Not for Heather or her family. But a switch was flipped, and Heather hasn’t experienced a single moment of suicidal depression since.

Disarmingly honest, self-deprecating, and scientifically fascinating, The Valedictorian of Being Dead brings to light a groundbreaking new treatment for depression.

An irreverent and captivating memoir about the unexpected joys and glaring indignities of pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood - from the beloved creator of the most popular personal blog on the web, dooce.com

Heather Armstrong gave up a lot of things when she and her husband, Jon, decided to have a baby: beer, small boobs, free time -- and antidepressants. The eighteen months that followed were filled with anxiety, constipation, nacho cheese Doritos, and an unconditional love that threatened to make her heart explode. Still, as baby Leta grew and her husband, Jon, returned to work, Heather faced lonely days, sleepless nights, and endless screaming that sometimes made her wish she'd never become a mother. Just as she was poised to throw another gallon of milk at her husband's head, she committed herself for a short stay in a mental hospital -- the best decision she ever made for her family.

To the dedicated millions who can't get enough of Heather's unforgettably unique style and hilarious stories on her hugely popular blog, there's little she won't share about her daily life as a recovering Mormon, liberal daughter of Republicans, wife of a charming geek, lover of television that exceeds at being really awful, and stay-at-home mom to five-year-old Leta and two willful dogs.

In It Sucked and Then I Cried, Heather tells, with trademark wit, the heartfelt, unrelentingly honest story of her battle with postpartum depression and all the other minor details of pregnancy and motherhood that no one cares to mention. Like how boring it can be to care for someone whose primary means of communication is through her bowels. And how long it can possibly take to reconvene the procedure that got you into this whole parenthood mess in the first place. And how you sometimes think you can't possibly go five more minutes without breathing in that utterly irresistible and totally redeemable fresh baby smell.

It Sucked and Then I Cried is a brave cautionary tale about crossing over that invisible line to the other side (the parenting side), where everything changes and it only gets worse. But most of all, it's a celebration of a love so big it can break your heart into a million pieces.
A mother’s love is unconditional: There are quiet snuggles, off-key sing-alongs, un-controllable belly laughs, and daily miracles that only a parent can understand. Heather Armstrong first wrote to her daughter when Leta was just eight weeks old. For the next five years, Heather wrote a letter every month, capturing the ups and downs of motherhood and chronicling the milestones and surprises of their lives together. These are letters that we wish we had written for our own children: disarmingly honest, self-deprecating, heartwarming, and irreverently funny.

From the first time Leta holds a rattle; to her first steps; to her first curse word; to her excitement over becoming a big sister, Dear Daughter is a heart-felt and hilarious ode to the wonders of parent-hood that will have mothers everywhere nodding, laughing, and wiping away tears.

***

Dear Leta,

You have changed so much since that first morning you spent with us, a morning that altered my life so drastically that sometimes it still feels like I’m catching my breath. I imagine that I won’t ever stop feeling this way, won’t ever stop having a portion of my brain dedicated to the thought of where you are and what you’re doing, won’t ever be able to escape the constant, nagging hope that you are happy and fulfilled. My pulse is forever close to the surface because of you, because of my responsibility toward you, and I can’t thank you enough for the dimension that this has added to what it means to be alive.

Love, Mama
From New York Times bestselling author and blogger Heather B. Armstrong comes an honest and irreverent memoir—reminiscent of the New York Times bestseller Brain on Fire—about her experience as one of only a few people to participate in an experimental treatment for depression involving ten rounds of a chemically induced coma approximating brain death.

For years, Heather B. Armstrong has alluded to her struggle with depression on her website, dooce. It’s scattered throughout her archive, where it weaves its way through posts about pop culture, music, and motherhood. But in 2016, Heather found herself in the depths of a depression she just couldn’t shake, an episode darker and longer than anything she had previously experienced. She had never felt so discouraged by the thought of waking up in the morning, and it threatened to destroy her life. So, for the sake of herself and her family, Heather decided to risk it all by participating in an experimental clinical trial involving a chemically induced coma approximating brain death.

Now, for the first time, Heather recalls the torturous eighteen months of suicidal depression she endured and the month-long experimental study in which doctors used propofol anesthesia to quiet all brain activity for a full fifteen minutes before bringing her back from a flatline. Ten times. The experience wasn’t easy. Not for Heather or her family. But a switch was flipped, and Heather hasn’t experienced a single moment of suicidal depression since.

Disarmingly honest, self-deprecating, and scientifically fascinating, The Valedictorian of Being Dead brings to light a groundbreaking new treatment for depression.
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