Patricia Heaton celebrated her freedom from alcohol this month after marking a three-year sobriety milestone.

The former Everybody Loves Raymond star took to Instagram on Saturday to celebrate the anniversary of her sobriety, sharing a video of her completing a 3.5-mile walk letting fans know she’s here to encourage others who are embarking on a sobriety journey.

“A lot to celebrate this month. #3years,” she captioned her video looking incognito in large shades and a hat.

“Hello friends,” she began. “It’s July, where we celebrate our nation’s freedom… also celebrating three years of freedom from alcohol for me. So I just wanted to share that with you and message me if any of you are doing that, if any of you are doing that now and need some encouragement or anything at all. Have a great day.”

The actress made the life-changing decision at the age of 63 revealing in an interview with Parade last year she realized her casual drinks were something she began looking forward to at the end of her days.

“I miss it terribly, but at the end of the day, I feel better,” Heaton revealed. “I noticed that I was looking forward every night to cocktails. And if I happened to go to lunch, I might have a glass of wine or Prosecco. There’s an actual statistic that women who were moderate drinkers in their 30s and 40s often become alcoholics in their 50s and 60s.”

Heaton went on to say her four sons moving out of her house which she shares with her husband, David Hunt, is what may have ignited her heavier reliance on the substance.

“I think it’s something about your children leaving the house and the things that used to anchor you are no longer there,” Heaton shared. “You’re a little bit at sea, and so you reach for the bottle to dull the uncertainty. I sensed that a bit with myself. And as your hormones change, you can’t really process alcohol the same way you did when you were younger. I’ve stopped, and my life has improved significantly.”

Heaton published a memoir last year Your Second Act: Inspiring Stories of Reinvention, in which she touched upon learning how to re-invent herself and dive deeper into her passions as an empty-nester.

The Emmy-award actress spent nearly two decades on screen as a sitcom housewife and mother playing Debra Barone in Everybody Loves Raymond from 1996 to 2005, and Frankie Heck in The Middle from 2009 to 2018. Around the same time she wrapped up the ABC sitcom in 2018, her motherhood on screen seemed to follow the same narrative as her real-life children growing up and moving on.

On Heaton’s newfound path to rediscovery, has since become a World Vision ambassador, enrolled in an online screenwriting course, produced movies with her husband as well as executive produce and star in her own show, Carol’s Second Act.

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