In her 2016 book, “River of Time: My Descent Into Depression and How I Emerged With Hope,” The Judds’ Naomi Judd goes into great detail about the rough patches in her life, which she describes as a “wild adventure.” From her often-bumpy childhood to raising her children, Wynona and Ashley Judd, as a single mother, Naomi is at her most honest within the pages of this book.
But she’s also been just as honest in a number of interviews that she has done recently, some of which have forced her to relive some of her toughest times, including when her father left when she was just a child. The relationship with your dad “is your bedrock for all of your future relationships,” Naomi said in a recent interview with ‘The 700 Club.” “That’s your security as a kid. Daddy left us for a younger girl.”
She also spoke about her mom, who couldn’t quite find a way to express her love as much as Naomi would have liked. “I don’t remember her telling me that she loved me,” Naomi said in the interview, also noting that she doesn’t ever her mother ever reading her bedtime stories or even coming into her room during her childhood. But, Naomi added, “She is a good woman. She is in a nursing home now.”
Because of the often-unstable environment she grew up in, Naomi admits to making some bad decisions as she got older. “I picked guys that were completely not just inappropriate but dangerous,” she recalled. “When I was 22, I had already had some bad relationships.”
Yet, through it all, Naomi said she lived with the hope that things would get better and the belief that something much bigger than herself was guiding her journey. “I always had the feeling that there was something on the other side and that there was something better,” Naomi said.
Despite this hope, Naomi did eventually find herself in a deep depression after being diagnosed with hepatitis C, which forced her to stop singing with The Judds after doctors told her that she only had three years to live. In fact, one day, her husband, Larry, found her in the bathroom with an unloaded gun pointed at her head.
“The phone never rang,” Naomi said of the hard times after The Judds’ retirement from the road. “It got so bad that I was suicidal. My husband said, ‘Your real identity is your spiritual being and every problem, if you are a spiritual being, every problem has a spiritual solution and we need to find that for you’ … There are times in life when you have to raise your hand and say, ‘I need help.’”
Naomi found much of that help in the comforting arms of the Lord. She said, “I have faith, I believe in God and I’ve gotten through all of this stuff because of those three things – my faith, my hope and my belief in an eternal God.”