Although she has since settled down and found love and happiness with husband Tyler Johnson, Maynard’s life was not always sunshine and roses. Even before the tragic death of then-fiancé racecar driver Ricky Hendrick just days before she found out she was pregnant with their child, Maynard was in a very dark place.
“Things haven’t been super easy for me,” Maynard told People mag while discussing her new book, I Said Yes. “As great as things are now, it’s been a struggle for me. My life definitely isn’t perfect. Is anybody’s?”
Maynard said that after a “happy childhood” spent growing up in West Virginia, she was sent to a private boarding school in Florida as a teen — and that’s where the trouble started.
“That was really hard for me,” she said. “I didn’t feel like I fit in.”
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Maynard said that she was hospitalized twice as her depression deepened: once after she had suicidal thoughts and a second time after she overdosed on prescription pain pills.
“It really was a cry for help,” she said. “I never really wanted to end things. I just wanted attention. It makes me sad to think about. I was so focused on the part of my heart that was empty that I couldn’t see beyond where I was.”
Things definitely got worse before they got better — Hendrick was killed in a plane crash, and she experienced two failed TV engagements — but her life is now better than ever. She and Johnson recently had a baby boy, who joined Maynard’s daughter, Ricki, in their family.
If you suspect someone might be considering suicide, or you have struggled with those thoughts yourself, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).