Braunwyn Windham-Burke is opening up about a traumatic moment from her past — suffering a miscarriage in her 30s.
During this week’s episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County, Braunwyn filmed a session with her therapist, during which she detailed her issues with alcohol. The reality star revealed earlier in the season that she is an alcoholic and is remaining sober.
“I go to group meetings to help me stay sober, but those are with a lot of people,” she explained. “I go to therapy for the one on one, to deal with the root issue, and to help me figure out how to deal better with life on life's terms.”
During the session, her therapist asked about when her drinking started. Braunwyn, 43, said it began around 14 years old, and continued on from there.
“Right after my 30th birthday, we moved to DC, and then in DC, my drinking got really bad — drunk all the time from the moment I woke up,” she said.
“What happened in DC?” the therapist prompted.
“I had a miscarriage,” Braunwyn admitted. “I got very depressed. I started taking Xanax and drinking, and it spiraled. I don't remember this, but I guess I went into my closet for about five days. I wanted to die, and I remember thinking that that was the best option for everyone in my family because I was so dark. I couldn't see around it, or through it.”
Braunwyn went on to detail that the incident prompted her to get admitted to the hospital, leaving husband Sean with their children. Though the incident was years ago, the pair currently shares seven kids: Hazel, 2, Koa, 4, twins Caden and Curran, 7, Jacob, 15, Rowan, 18, and Bella, 20.
“I got admitted to the psych ward — it was not pretty,” she said. “And Sean didn't know what to do, he kept the kids away. I could barely hug them, I was so shaky, I couldn't sit still, I couldn't sleep. It was awful.”
Braunwyn’s vulnerability continued later in the episode while she and her family grappled with the onset of the novel coronavirus in March. Her daughter Rowan opened up about dealing with anxiety and OCD amid the pandemic, which Braunwyn said she could relate to.
“When I was 14 and I took that first drink, it wasn't getting drunk that I wanted,” she said in a confessional. “It was the feeling of all that anxiety going away.”
Later talking to both Rowan and Sean, Braunwyn said she was grateful for her sobriety.
“I'm so grateful I'm sober because I can take care of you,” she told her daughter. “I know that your anxiety and your OCD are through the roof.”
To Sean, she added, “Four months ago, I would have been drunk the whole time and I wouldn't be able to help her, or deal with you, or like prep this whole house. I'm scared. I haven't been scared, I've been sad or angry, I've been depressed, but I haven't been scared until now.”
“I'm really scared that I'm gonna drink, which FYI, there's a bottle of tequila in there,” she continued, before locating several bottles in her cabinet and pouring them down the drain. “I thought it would be fine and now I know I can't keep it, so it has to go away.”
The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.
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