Actress Katey Sagal Chronicles Addiction In New Book
As we’ve mentioned many times before, celebrities can be a powerful tool in the fight against addiction. Many athletes, musicians and actors are also role models and hold a great deal of influence over their fans. So when someone famous openly speaks out about an alcohol or drug issue, it can help de-stigmatize some of the shame. This month former Married With Children star Katey Sagal took celebrity advocacy even further, by chronicling her recovery experiences in a brutally honest new book.
The autobiography Grace Notes: My Recollections covers many chapters in Sagal’s life, from her emotional childhood, to her sitcom success. But the portions getting the most attention are the ones that deal with the drug and alcohol addictions she struggled with during early life.
Holding nothing back, Katey revealed that she began experimenting with pills while still in grade school (primarily because they were readily available). When speaking about childhood neighbor, Lorna Luft, she wrote, “Lorna’s mom had a lot of pills on her bedside table and slept past noon just like my mom. We hung tight. And, of course, I thought everyone’s mom took a lot of pills.”
Sagal then writes about her 20-something years in the 1970’s, where she worked to become a singer and musician. She openly admitted to having a heavy addiction problem during that era, which was exacerbated by the untimely death of her father.
“I was a mess,” she recalled after her father’s passing. “I had a lot of shit that I just didn’t deal with. Or that I dealt with it by drinking myself into a stupor.”
Katey’s situation is certainly not uncommon. The death of a parent at an early age is often times the catalyst for a deeper dive into addiction. People tend to think of drugs and alcohol as a way of “numbing” emotional pain, but we’re here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.
In Sagal’s situation recovery arrived at age 30, just as she was finding success on Married With Children. Happily clean ever since (30 years and counting), she is now a proud advocate for treatment and has supported several sobriety-related charities.
“When I was on Married with Children, I would have people come up to me a lot that were either in the stage of their recovery, because I was pretty vocal about getting sober, and it would help them to know that there was somebody sober that they could see on the TV,” she explained. “So I knew early on in my recovery that it was a benefit. It’s just a blessing that I am able to do these things, to be an actor, to have a job, to be in these kinds of roles or any kind of role, really.”
And for that, we salute Ms. Sagal and all of the wonderful work she continues to do.