The beloved country star talks about the healing power of love and her journey to peace in her new memoir.
Evans, 49, was only eight years old when she was hit by a car on the highway near her family’s farm. Her idyllic childhood up until that day included leading the Evans Family Band with two of her brothers playing rodeos and assisted-living retirement homes.
Sara remained hospitalized for six weeks after having been thrown 80 feet off the road. (When she was found her family thought she was dead).
She would have sudden excruciating pain and debilitating panic. This is also when the claustrophobia set in from the feeling of being restrained.
After suffering PTSD, anxiety, and claustrophobia, Evans was further upset by her parent’s divorce in 1983.
Her first album was recorded in 1997, and at that time she was married to a fellow musician, Craig Schelske, and had a 10-month old son.
Her secret was that she was in an extremely unhappy marriage. The success of her third studio album Born to Fly helped her deny the pain from her failing marriage – but even marriage counseling didn’t work.
Her faith, and the pain she had suffered through being a child of divorce, kept her in the marriage for several more years.
In 2005 her anxiety peaked and she suffered a panic attack while headed to a show. Anytime she felt stress, PTSD from the car accident surfaced. It was not until a doctor prescribed the right medication that “I realized I wasn’t going to be this way forever”.
In 2006, Sara was enjoying success with three platinum albums, four No. 1 singles, and an invite to appear on Dancing with the Stars.
Eventually having to quit DWTS, her marriage blew up and she divorced in 2007.
Three weeks later, she met former pro football player Jay Barker and they wed in 2008.
Sara says she “always keeps anti-anxiety meds with her” in case of a panic attack. What Sara wants people to know from her memoir is: “don’t stay down for long, pray for others and count your blessings. It really does work”.