“She had Spunk,” announced her TV boss on the Mary Tyler Moore Show. It was spunk that led her to admit that she was powerless over alcohol, that her life had become unmanageable.
Along with working the 12 Steps, Mary learned she had Type 1 diabetes. And in true 12th Step fashion of sharing and caring, Mary turned her lifelong struggle with her other disease-diabetes into advocacy as the International Chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
The following paragraphs reveal some of backstory this smiling, happy, upbeat, contagiously funny woman dealt with and overcame in her lifetime.
Alcohol permeated nearly every aspect of Moore’s life, from her two failed marriages to the premature deaths of her sister and her son. In her memoir “Growing Up Again,” she attributed her subtly “off-center and uneven features” to being a child of an alcoholic mother.
She described her mother as an “entertaining alcoholic.” But Moore wrote, “When one’s mother is an alcoholic and, despite a child’s pleading with her to stop, she continues, you may read that as a cold, selfish act on her part.”
It was difficult on her, she added, since her father “was bereft of the ability to express his love for me.”
She began “reaching for a drink to soften the blows,” not allowing “the hard edges of life to touch me.”