Mackenzie Phillips: Addiction recovery an everyday feat









































In a candid, unscripted speech — peppered with endearing moments of humor — Mackenzie Phillips shared stories of her long battle with addiction with about 50 residents at the Palm Springs Library on Sunday.


Best known for playing the rebellious teenager Julie on the 1970s sitcom “One Day at a Time” and as the oldest daughter of the late Palm Springs resident John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas, Phillips left no stone unturned, recounting a troubled childhood, 11 relapses and a long but fateful journey to recovery.“What I have found in my struggle to achieve sobriety … is that time doesn’t necessarily heal, nor does it treat our disease,” she said, adding that recovery is an everyday feat. “I always have to self-intervene.” Phillips was a guest speaker for a dedication ceremony celebrating the library’s new addiction and recovery resource section.

The resource center — with books and DVDs covering various aspects of addiction — was funded collaboratively by Michael’s House, a Palm Springs-based addiction treatment center, and Heroes in Recovery, a grassroots, nationwide program that recognizes those seeking help for addiction and mental health issues. “Addiction is a spiritual plague,” said Renee Baribeau, Michael’s House alumni and event coordinator, who said she’s been sober for 27 years.An estimated 25 million Americans struggle with addiction, Baribeau said.She also stressed that addiction is not just physical but is caused in part by mental health deficiencies. Despite the seriousness of the topic, Phillips found genuine ways to make the audience laugh throughout her speech as she shared very personal stories. Her description of a 2008 arrest by the Los Angeles Airport Police for cocaine and heroin possession, which she said marked a turning point in her addiction, also included many laugh lines. “There I was in handcuffs,” Phillips said several times. She said a buckle on a pants pocket containing a bag of drugs and syringes set off a metal detector, drawing security officers’ attention and prompting her to hide the bag in her underwear. The crowd laughed as Phillips described the moment the bag fell to her feet during the ensuing screening. Sunday’s dedication ceremony brought together Michael’s House staff and alumni, patrons of the library and local residents. “Mackenzie was fabulous, absolutely fabulous,” said Indio resident Darby Young, who brought along her friend Pippin Gill. Young said she most liked “her authenticity, her hope for the future and her obvious love for her family and those who care for her.”Phillips, now an addiction recovery advocate at Pasadena Recovery Center, also recounted memories of her father, with whom she had a complex relationship until he died in Palm Springs in 2001. Phillips has accused her father of introducing her to drugs and engaging in an incestuous relationship with her for a decade.“I am a survivor of incest and sexual abuse,” she said Sunday. “But I am not a victim.” Phillips said she views her sobriety as the one thing that her father couldn’t take from her.  Article Link…

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