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In Instagram message, Patricia Heaton marks three years of “freedom from alcohol”

ABC/Michael Ansell

Former Everybody Loves Raymond star Patricia Heaton chose an Independence Day-themed greeting to fans to celebrate her three years of independence from booze.

“It’s July when we celebrate our nation’s freedom,” the Emmy winner posted Sunday to Instagram while on a 3.5 mile hike. “Also celebrating three years of freedom from alcohol for me.”

The former star of The Middle pledged support to fans who might need a boost, too. “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,” she said before closing with, “Have a great day.”

Heaton told Parade magazine last year that she decided to give up booze because she found herself partaking a bit too much. “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,” she explained.

The 63-year-old actress told the publication, “I miss it terribly, but at the end of the day, I feel better.”

She also added, “There’s an actual statistic that women who were moderate drinkers in their 30s and 40s often become alcoholics in their 50s and 60s. I think it’s something about your children leaving the house and the things that used to anchor you are no longer there. 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.”

Heaton said then, “I’ve stopped, and my life has improved significantly. My kids are in their mid-20s and I’ll probably be in my 70s by the time I have grandchildren. I want to be healthy for them.”

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