Singer-songwriter, actress and motivational speaker Naomi Judd is world-famous for being one half of the Judds, one of the most successful duos in country-music history. But apart from her recording career with daughter Wynonna, Judd has also authored several self-help books and her 1993 autobiography, Love Can Build a Bridge. On December 6th, the Kentucky-born performer will unveil another chapter of her life with the new book, River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope.
Penned with New York Times best-selling author Marcia Wilkie and published by Hachette Books, the memoir is a candid account of Judd’s struggle with depression and panic attacks, containing never-before-told tales of harrowing flashbacks stemming from childhood sexual abuse, years of psychiatric hospital treatments and pharmaceutical drug poisoning.
“I wanted to be completely honest that if someone took out a gun and killed me on stage, they would be doing me a favor,” she writes in a excerpt. “But I didn’t. I was there to inspire them and I could not let them down. I gathered every ounce of strength I had, straightened my shoulders, adjusted my suit jacket, found the will to smile, and strode out on stage.”
Judd, who initially retired from touring in 1991 after being diagnosed with Hepatitis C, has reunited with her daughter to tour several times since then. She became the first national spokesperson for the American Liver Foundation and embarked on a career as an inspirational speaker, while penning eight best-selling books, including Naomi’s Breakthrough Guide: 20 Choices to Transform Your Life.
“My story isn’t one of a victorious recovery from debilitating mental illness, but of a wary and humble gratitude for persevering through thirty terrifying months,” Judd says in a statement. “I’ve gained an appreciative hope and, in the past year, an ongoing purpose for living once more. And, because I have survived and found peace, I feel a responsibility, as a messenger, to share what brought me hope and what’s kept me alive.”
River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope is now available for pre-order and will be released December 6th.