I can't recall getting even five minutes' enjoyment or enlightenment out of dooce.com. Perhaps there's something wrong with me. She is evidently quite well-off because of her enormous readership (one million Twitter followers, really?), but as a 'literary' artifact or publication I can't say it holds any appeal or value for me. Maybe you Just Had/Have To Be There? Or to be Going Through Stuff With Her?
Maybe you have to be able to peer into the personal diary of a woman whose fetishistic furniture photography reveals that she stores a recent paperback of Infinite Jest on the spotless white shelf she set aside 'to stash [her] collection of decor magazines,' to look at that and say, I dunno, 'I guess that's life in a six-bedroom?' But I can't seem to bring myself to say it, except of course that I just did. [Also oh my god she uses the phrase 'vintage deer antlers,' kill me.]
It's not important, I know. But now I can't go back to not knowing that yet another someone was getting rich off this kind of thing:
So he pulled up my record from five years ago, glanced back at me, looked back at his computer, and that's when I involuntarily blurted out, "I wrote a book about my experience in the hospital." Maybe to let him know that I was serious? That here I was dumb enough to try and do this whole thing again? And he immediately whipped his head around and said, "You're THAT woman?"
Yes. Indeed. THAT woman. The woman who writes about poop and hemorrhoids and stitches in her vagina YES DEAR GOD THAT'S ME. Listen, my Republican, Mormon, gun-owning father read my book and he still loves me! That counts for something, right? I guess his wife had heard about my book, and when she was describing it to him he knew immediately that I had to have been someone he treated because of the speed with which I healed. He treats postpartum depression very differently than most doctors, and his patients usually see results instantly. And that is exactly what happened with me in the hospital five years ago, I took a cocktail of meds and within two hours I felt like a different person.
So we did a lot of talking, and since he's been treating women for this very condition for over 30 years I did a lot of listening and learning. The odds were completely stacked against me, and he said that if I had been gearing up and treating the possibility of this in my third trimester I might have been able to avoid it. But since I didn't it was time to attack it now. So he made a minor tweak to my meds and asked me to come back and see him in two weeks, and I am not even kidding, I felt better that night. In fact, better does not do what I was feeling justice. I felt free.
So what about breastfeeding? That's what you're all wondering, I know, and this is what I'm going to say: he thinks that what I'm taking is perfectly safe to take while breastfeeding. He's prescribed it before to women who are breastfeeding and everything has been perfectly fine. No, I'm not going to talk about what I'm taking because one, it's no one's business, and two, I don't care that you think I'm poisoning my baby. I also think that anyone going through this needs to consult their own doctor and make an informed, personal decision about their individual situation. And then go on and live a better, happier life.
I've boldfaced the bit that turned my stomach, in case you were wondering. I hit that sentence and realized that this person's Internet fame has come, not from 'honesty' as I understand it, but from something a bit less admirable. It's not the 'no one's business' sentence on its own that's bothersome, because one's cocktail of yummy psychotropics isn't a priori anyone else's business. Rather, it's the willingness to make a very minor media spectacle out of the people around her for a decade (Happy Ten Years!) coupled with an unpleasantly professional image-management approach - making ad dollars off your blog posts about your depression, then specifically cutting off your discussion at a crucial information point (Which Depression Meds Actually Work and Are Safe?) because, unlike your glee at seeing your baby shit on your mother, that piece of information is not worth sharing.
Plus it's weird to insist, over and over and over, that talking about hemorrhoids is scandalous!!! - to make a big deal out of your own sense of your own transgressiveness - and then publish an endless stream of carefully-photoshopped images of your family online, y'know? At a certain point it all starts to seem not so much 'confession' or 'candor' as 'broadcasting.'
The amazon.com page for her memoir mentions her 'trademark wit,' but 'wit' isn't the word.
There is nothing scandalous about dooce.com. It's...well, it's not much. I mean it's an extraordinary amount of not much. Maybe that's exactly what people want. Ten years is a long time to keep that up, and I salute her.