She’s an icon of sunny motherhood from her years on Family Ties, but with three failed marriages and a descent into alcoholism, life behind the scenes was an endless series of storms for Meredith Baxter. In Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering, Baxter writes of her personal disasters (both self-inflicted and imposed on her by others) with humor, an engaging sense of perspective, and fluid, intelligent prose. Baxter’s story is ultimately uplifting, as she relates her success with a 12-step program for alcoholics and her decision to come out on national television in 2009 as a lesbian at age 62. Baxter says she’s living in a much happier place these days, and she told us about her long struggle to get there.
“I didn’t know another way to be. For me, I had to hit a bottom, an emotional bottom, where I was saying, ‘I cannot live like this one more day.’ That’s kind of what happened when I had a breakdown when the [third] marriage broke up. I just sat and howled, because I thought, ‘How am I in this place yet again?’ I had learned nothing about myself. I was a total stranger to myself. So, I guess the message I would want to pass on is that there’s another way to be, but you have to change your thinking.”