The "Everybody Loves Raymond" actress also opened up about her bad experience with cocaine.
Patricia Heaton opened up about her sobriety journey and revealed the "humiliating" moment she decided to quit drinking.
While speaking with Elizabeth Vargas on her podcast "Heart of the Matter," the "Everybody Loves Raymond" alum detailed her long battle with alcoholism that eventually led her to a disastrous dinner party at one of her son's home.
"I really started looking forward to drinking and thinking about it in a way that I hadn’t before," the star said of the period in her life after her four adult sons left home. "If we went out to dinner, I would have two cocktails before the meal and then at least two glasses of wine and then maybe an aperitif. If I was with really good friends that I knew well, I would have three cocktails before dinner."
She recalled thinking, "I'm not an alcoholic, but I could see it down the road. I could see it flipping over into that."
Her battle came to a head when she was visiting one of her sons in Nashville. At a dinner party with a group of ten people, including three of her boys, Heaton said she drank while preparing dinner, drank through dinner and while playing boards afterwards.
"And I was just filling my glass with red wine throughout the five or six hours that we were together. I don't know how many glasses it was, and I felt completely sober and fine. I was making a joke to the table, and I started saying, 'You know, in our family it's a tradition...' And I could not pronounce the word 'tradition.' I tried three times, and I couldn't say the word."
"I can't even mispronounce it for you the way I was mispronouncing it. I can't remember," she told Vargas before revealing one of her sons then chimed in, saying, 'Oh, great, Mom. You can't even talk.'"
"I was so humiliated in front of my sons and their friends," she continued. "And God knows that that's all it takes for me to have that kind of sense of their mom's looking drunk in front of them. But, also, I thought, 'I feel fine. What is happening in my brain? What is the alcohol doing to my brain where the synapses are misfiring to the point where I can't say this word?'"
The incident "shook" her so badly, Heaton told herself, "That's it. That's it."
With three years of sobriety since the incident, Heaton exclaimed, "I feel now that I can do anything if I can get rid of alcohol. Alcohol's the hardest thing in my life."
As for the one time she tried cocaine, the "The Middle" vet recalled how the drug triggered her depression, something she had been dealing with since the loss of her mother at an early age. The hangover from cocaine was so "intense," Heaton said she never touched it again.
“Cocaine was flowing like crazy, and I remember being there and drinking and doing cocaine till six in the morning," she said of the night at a New York bar in the 80s. "That next day I was fine, but the day after the depression I felt was so intense, I thought, 'I am never going to do this again because I feel like I'm going to kill myself.'"
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.