During an emotional confessional on the season 15 premiere of "The Real Housewives of Orange County," Braunwyn Windham-Burke admitted she has a drinking problem and is ready to do something about it.
"I don't know if it's divine intervention. I don't know. But for the first time in my life I can say, 'My name is Braunwyn and I'm an alcoholic,'" she said as she looked straight at the camera.
Windham-Burke's drinking habits were a hot topic of discussion during the episode. In one scene, the mother of seven apologized to fellow Housewife Emily Simpson for pushing her away after Simpson first expressed concern about her drinking.
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"I just got angry at you and then I came up with reasons to be mad because that was easier," she said. "I have had not the best last few months. Miami was bad. I didn't stop drinking for four days. Everyone else would end their night. No one noticed, even Sean (my husband) didn't know. I kept drinking. So every hour, because I would start to shake, I would just keep doing a shot, a shot, a shot. I was drinking so much I was scared I was gonna die."
Windham-Burke said she had been hiding alcohol from her husband and refilling bottles, so no one would realize how much she was truly drinking.
"I'm honestly scared of who I am without it. It's much easier for me to be the fun, crazy one than to be myself," she said.
She told Simpson that she doesn't think she can ever drink again and that her newfound sobriety "has to be forever."
After the episode premiered, Windham-Burke shared on Instagram that she has now been sober for 258 days and is taking it "one day at a time." She shared one photo showing the chips she received from hitting sober milestones as a part of Alcoholics Anonymous.
"When we started this season I was 12 days sober, we document the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, the unfiltered reality," she wrote. "9 months ago my life was unmanageable, but today I’m happier then I’ve ever been, living life honestly on life’s terms."
Windham-Burke's candor was met with encouragement and gratitude from fans.
"I'm so inspired by this and have never loved a housewife more for her transparency, bravery, and transparency," one person wrote.
"287 days for me today. THANK YOU for being real and honest on a very public stage," another fan said. "We can do hard things."