One of the ways Meredith says she tried to escape her painful home life was through alcohol. She says she started acting in a dangerous, reckless way—drinking too much, driving drunk, speeding—during the fourth season of Family Ties. "[I was] unmindful of anybody else. I was so caught up in my own hurt," she says. "I don't know what I was saying to myself, but I was so angry."
Because she was always so private about herself and her family, Meredith says no one at Family Ties knew anything about her troubled marriage or alcohol issues.
Then, while rehearsing a scene with Michael Gross—the actor who played Steven Keaton, the father on Family Ties—Meredith broke down. "David was in Europe doing a film and he was due to come back in a couple of days. He'd been out of town for, I think, six weeks and it had been six weeks of peace and heaven," she says. "[Michael and I] were talking and he said, 'David comes home soon, doesn't he?' And I burst into tears. I totally lost it. I couldn't talk because nobody knew. There was no context because I'd kept it all to myself for so long."