A “Real Housewife’s” Journey to Sobriety

This article was written by Nitara Osbourne and published by American Addiction Centers


Certain experiences become pivotal moments that change the course of an individual’s life forever. It may be as tragic as a car accident that leaves the driver permanently paralyzed. Or as inspiring as meeting a musician whose work you admire. Or as empowering as it is to walk each day in sobriety after years of struggling with an alcohol use disorder (AUD). Achieving long-term sobriety is commendable. It can be achieved through social support, professional detox, treatment, and a dedication to renewed sobriety even after moments of relapse should they occur.

Joy Sutton, host of American Addiction Centers’ (AAC) talk show, Addiction Talk, had the opportunity to interview Real Housewives of Orange County Alum, Braunwyn Windham-Burke.

In the safe space of an environment that Joy creates for the show, Braunwyn not only authentically opens up to share her past battle with alcohol, but she shares how she simultaneously came out of the closet as a gay woman around the same time frame as getting sober. Two pivotal moments that altered the trajectory of her entire life.

Be sure to tune into future episodes of Addiction Talk, but first catch this authentic and inspiring episode about the life-changing story of how one empowered woman openly declared her authentic self and did it sober.

If you’re struggling with an AUD or a substance use disorder (SUD), help is available. AAC is a nationwide leader in addiction treatment and provides care in a supportive environment under licensed medical professionals. If you’re battling with addiction, please reach out for help.


Alcohol Use Disorder and Sobriety

“January 30th will be two years,” shares Braunwyn, remembering her first day of sobriety right before the country went into lock-down due to the global pandemic.

And the state of mind that she’s in at the end of 2021 is nothing short of remarkable. “I can honestly say this is the happiest I’ve ever been in my 44 years.”

But nearly twenty-four months ago she was experiencing a very different life.

What she visualized about sobriety was the complete opposite of what she’s experiencing now. “When I got sober… [I thought] life is gonna suck. I’m gonna be bored… I could not imagine a world where you could have fun, sober.” She admitted that it took her roughly six months to get out of that mindset.

An alcohol use disorder, or AUD, is a disease that causes:

  • A negative emotional state. This includes irritability or anxiety when not consuming alcohol.
  • Craving. The need to consume alcohol.
  • Loss of control. The inability to stop drinking once started.

Roughly 18 million American adults battle with an AUD, and the disease can vary from mild to severe, contingent on the symptoms. Severe AUD is often referred to as “alcohol dependence” or “alcoholism.”

Struggling with an AUD is a challenging disease to face but facing this challenge head-on in front of a televised audience can be overwhelming. Although there are similarities and experiences of all those battling an AUD, each individual has their own personal journey from addiction to sobriety. The liberation of coming out of the closet mixed with the empowerment of sobriety is a powerful combination and is all part of Braunwyn’s journey.

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