Patricia Heaton marked an important milestone on Instagram Saturday. The former Everybody Loves Raymond star celebrated three years of sobriety with an inspiring video for her fans. Heaton, 63, recently starred in the CBS sitcom Carol's Second Act and ABC's The Middle.
"Hello friends," Heaton said at the start of the video, filmed while hiking. "Just finishing my 3 and a half-mile walk around the reservoir. It's July when we celebrate our nation's freedom. Also, I'm celebrating three years of freedom from alcohol for me. So I just wanted to share that with you." She also invited fans to send her messages if they are thinking about drinking and need encouragement.
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"Message me if any of you are thinking about doing that, or are doing that now and need some encouragement, or anything at all," Heaton said. "Have a great day!" Heaton captioned the video, "A lot to celebrate this month. #3years."
After many of her fans commented on the video to share their own sobriety milestones, Heaton was quick to congratulate them. "Congratulations!! I will have 4 years on August 7th," one fan wrote. "Amazing!" Heaton replied. One fan told the two-time Emmy winner they were thinking about trying to get sober. "You got this!" she wrote back.
Heaton opened up about reinventing herself in her 2020 memoir Your Second Act: Inspiring Stories of Reinvention. "I have lived a life beyond my wildest dreams and I'm so grateful," she told PEOPLE while promoting the book. "Life wasn't handed to me on a silver platter by any stretch. I've worked hard, skinned my knees, cried my eyes out, regretted, doubted, and second-guessed myself along the way." Heaton believes her faith in God played a significant role in changing her life. She noted that while she is in her second act of life, she now understands "how the seed for my second act was clearly planted in the first."
Heaton won two Emmys for playing Ray Romano's on-screen wife on Everybody Loves Raymond, which ran from 1996 to 2005. She played another mother, Frankie Heck, on ABC's The Middle from 2009 to 2018, then starred as Dr. Carol Kenney on Carol's Second Act, which lasted just one season. Heaton's next project is Unbreakable Boy, starring Zachary Levi.
In an interview with Forbes last year, Heaton said she wished she could tell her younger self to slow down, especially when she was so busy making Raymond while raising her children. "So it got very hectic and it was a lot about keeping a schedule going with kids and work and school and activities," Heaton said. "I think I would've tried to do a little bit less and relax a little bit more and just try to be present in the moment and enjoy the moment a bit more."