Actress Patricia Heaton open about battle with alcohol


By Christian Boatwright –

When her kids moved out, Patricia Heaton realized she had a problem.

She liked drinking.

“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,” Patricia says on A Sober Girl’s Guide. “There’s an actual statistic that women who were moderate drinkers in their 30s and 40s often become alcoholics in their 50s and 60s.”

Today, the star from Everybody Loves Raymond is a vocal Christian: “Jesus died for us publicly, so don’t live for him privately. Our job here as Christians is to extend the love of Christ.”

Patricia was born March 4, 1958 and grew up in Bay Village Ohio, where she was raised in a Catholic church. Many in attendance had an Irish Catholic background.

When she was only 12, her mother passed away from an aortic aneurysm, turning her world upside down.

“There was no therapy, there was no grief counseling,” she told People magazine. “It was like, ‘Okay, we just came from the funeral. Has everybody finished their homework?’ The foundation of your life has been pulled out from under you, in a very primal way.”

Heaton has three sisters and one brother. The eldest sister, Sharon, became a radical during college. Then she became a Dominican nun.

For her part, Patricia found herself in acting. She got her break with Don’t Get God Started, a Broadway musical, playing alongside Giancarlo Esposito (now of Breaking Bad).

She’s had many lead roles in shows and movies, such as The Middle, Carol’s Second Act and her own show on Food Network.

She married actor Constantine Yankoglu, but the marriage only lasted three years. Her divorce got her kicked out of the Catholic Church. She still loved God, so she went to a Protestant Church. Later an Opus Dei priest helped her go through the Catholic Church’s annulment process, after which she was accepted back into Catholicism.

She remarried David Hunt, with whom she’s had four kids and 30 years of married life.

With her rise to fame came her problem with drinking. She liked wine and cocktails.

When her kids moved out, the alcohol became a problem – to the point that she now says “alcoholism” is a fair word to use.

“I think it’s something about your children leaving the house and the things that used to anchor you are no longer there,” Patricia says. “You’re a little bit at sea, and so you reach for the bottle to dull the uncertainty.

“And as your hormones change, you can’t really process alcohol the same way you did when you were younger,” she adds. “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.”

Patricia’s decision to quit alcohol has been a blessing in her life, leading her to write her book Your Second Act.

Here’s the chilling reality, a raw admission that is probably true for many addicts: Even though she feels better for not drinking, her battle against alcohol is day-by-day: “I miss it terribly,” she admits.

If you want to know more about a personal relationship with God, go here

About the writer of this article: Christian Boatwright lives in Culver City (Los Angeles) and studies at the Lighthouse Christian Academy.