Legendary singer Dolly Parton has revealed that prayer, along with her little dog, saved her from committing suicide back in the 1980's.
In her new book, Dolly on Dolly, the 71-year-old reveals that she became deeply depressed after breaking up with an unnamed lover in the early 80's. At the time, she had an open relationship with her long-time husband, Carl Dean.
The Tennessee native shared that the fling "shattered" her when it ended: "I cried an ocean," she recalled.
Her depression and other mental and physical issues - including binge eating disorder - became so unbearable, it caused her to contemplate suicide: "I was sitting upstairs in my bedroom one afternoon when I noticed in the nightstand drawer my gun that I keep for burglars. I looked at it a long time... Then, just as I picked it up, just to hold it and look at it for a moment, our little dog, Popeye, came running up the stairs," Dolly recalled in quotes obtained by the Daily Mail. "The tap-tap-tap of his paws jolted me back to reality. I suddenly froze. I put the gun down. Then I prayed. I kinda believe Popeye was a spiritual messenger from God."
She continued, "I don't think I'd have done it, killed myself, but I can't say for sure. Now that I've gone through that terrible moment, I can certainly understand the possibilities even for someone solid like me if the pain gets bad enough."
In her book, Dolly also details her meteoric rise to fame -- she's sold more than 100 million records worldwide -- her trademark look, and her poor childhood.
Because they were so poor, during the summer, Dolly and her 11 siblings had to bathe in the river. When the winter months came along, the "Steel Magnolias" actress recalled sleeping in a bed with three to four kids.
"That was the only warm thing we knew in the wintertime. That was our most pleasure to get peed on," she admitted. "If you kept the air out from under the cover, the pee didn't get so cold."
Despite her troubled past, Dolly, who started singing in her grandfather's church at a young age, has previously said it's her Christian faith that keeps her going.
In an interview with Larry King in 2003 Parton said, "...I grew up in a very religious background. I trust God, I love God, and I love the thoughts of it. Even if there was no God, I'd prefer to believe it, because I prefer to believe in something greater than we are. It takes all of the pressure off of you. You don't have a bunch of ego problems."
She also credits her Christian faith as the inspiration behind the hit songs she's written, including "Hello God" and "He's Alive".
"Any time I write something that is just a line that I know didn't come from me, I just sort of say, 'Hey, give me a high five, Lord. Give me a thumbs up,'" she told CBN earlier this year.
"People say, 'Well, I am surprised that you talk about your faith,' and I say, 'Why not? That's who I am. That's what keeps me going,'" she said."I grew up knowing that Jesus loves me. And I knew that through God all things were possible. I grew up with those things that we just heard all the time."