Lifestyle Health Patricia Heaton Celebrates a Sobriety Milestone: 'Three Years of Freedom from Alcohol' The 63-year-old Carol's Second Act and The Middle actress also offered a helping hand to those in similar situations By People Staff Published on July 11, 2021 05:31 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Gary Gershoff/Getty Patricia Heaton is celebrating a major milestone in her life: three years of sobriety from alcohol. The actress, 63, hopped on Instagram Saturday to share the special news with her nearly 200,000 followers in a video captioned, in part, "A lot to celebrate this month." "Hello, friends! I'm just finishing up my, what, 3½-mile walk around the reservoir. And 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 want to share that with you," Heaton said in the clip with a contagious smile. Patricia Heaton Opens Up About Starting Fresh After TV Show Cancellation The former Carol's Second Act star then offered a helping hand to anyone in a similar position. "Message me if you are thinking about doing that and if you are doing that now and you need some encouragement or anything at all," she added before ending the video. In February 2020, Heaton told PEOPLE she had embarked on what she deemed her "second act" while promoting her book Your Second Act: Inspiring Stories of Reinvention. "I have lived a life beyond my wildest dreams and I'm so grateful," she explained. "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 — who is an ambassador for World Vision — credits her devotion to God for helping change her life. The former star of The Middle believes doing so has allowed her to maintain an open mind about adding new chapters to her life story. Nicholas Hunt/Getty "I've gone up and down many different paths; looking back, I see how the seed for my second act was clearly planted in my first act," Heaton told PEOPLE. After CBS canceled Carol's Second Act in May 2020, Heaton had to reset. But she did not look at it in an entirely negative light. Patricia Heaton Explores Her Empty Nest and Finding New Purpose in New Book, Your Second Act "There are these little funerals you have to have for certain dreams, because that's how you make way for new things," she told PEOPLE last July. Instead of looking at it as a midlife crisis, however, Heaton viewed it as a moment of reinvention, which she believes is achievable "at any age and at any time" in life. "Just get out there and embrace your life!" Heaton said. Listen to an exclusive interview with Patricia Heaton below on our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.