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Patricia Heaton celebrates three years of sobriety

Patricia Heaton on her social-media video encouraged those

Patricia Heaton on her social-media video encouraged those thinking about quitting alcohol to contact her if they needed support. Credit: Getty Images / Frazer Harrison

Patricia Heaton is celebrating her third year of sobriety, sharing a video over the weekend to commemorate the milestone.

"Hello, friends!" the "Everybody Loves Raymond" Emmy Award-winner, 63, said in a 50-second video on Twitter and Instagram Saturday. Speaking in a close-up, following what she called a 3½-mile walk around one of Los Angeles County's reservoirs, Heaton said, "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," she said, and urged fans who seek to quit drinking to "message me if any of you are thinking about doing that, any of you are doing that now and need some encouragement, or anything at all."

On Twitter, where actress Lea Thompson ("Back to the Future") congratulated her, Heaton advised one person who craved wine in the evening to instead have "a club soda with a splash of tonic and a lime." To another who asked how she had successfully stopped drinking, the actor said she had "[a]sked God to take it away and he gave me an experience which made me quit" — explaining to a third person, "I experienced a little brain blip which made me stop cold."

While she did not elucidate on social media, Heaton on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" in September 2019 had discussed her incipient alcoholism and described that mental lapse. Telling host Colbert that he was "the first person I'm telling publicly," she revealed: "I haven't had a drink in 14 months." After joking that, "What brought me to that was I was drinking too much," she related an anecdote about the incident.

"I just said, 'OK, God, I know I want to quit drinking. I'm pretty sure I want to quit, but I have no willpower to do it. So you have to do it.' And literally within 48 hours," she said, "I'd had a couple glasses of wine, I was at a party with a bunch of people, and I was trying to make a joke [and] I tried to say the word 'tradition' … [and] could not pronounce the word. Three times [I] tried to say it. … And I thought, 'What's going on in my brain?' There's a synapse thing that's misfiring, and what is that alcohol doing to my brain? And I realized, that was the answer: 'You need to stop this because it's not good for your brain.' And I haven't had a drink since then."

Heaton, who after the acclaimed sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond" went on to the 2009-2018 ABC comedy "The Middle" and the 2019-2020 CBS comedy "Carol's Second Act," last year published the memoir "Your Second Act: Inspiring Stories of Reinvention."

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