RHOC: Braunwyn Windham-Burke Admits She Used Her Pregnancies to Avoid Her Alcoholism — ‘That's Been My Easy Way Out’
Braunwyn Windham-Burke is continuing to open up about how her alcoholism has affected her life, telling costar Gina Kirschenheiter that she has used her pregnancies as a way to get sober.
During this week’s episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County, Braunwyn and Gina went to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting together — a way for the pair to smooth over their issues after their explosive fight at Shannon Beador’s housewarming party.
In the car on the way there, Braunwyn, 42, admitted that, in the past, she would get pregnant when she felt like her drinking was getting out of hand. Braunwyn, who is now 10 months sober, revealed she was an alcoholic during the RHOC season 15 premiere last month.
“When this happened this time I was just like, ‘Sean, let’s have another baby,’ ” she told Gina, 36. “That has been my easy way out when my drinking has gotten too bad.”
The reality star shares seven children with husband Sean Burke: Hazel, 2, Koa, 4, twins Caden and Curran, 7, Jacob, 15, Rowan, 18, and Bella, 20.
“When it's gotten too bad, it's easier for me to just get pregnant,” Braunwyn continued, with Gina adding, “To do the thing that will ultimately sober you up.”
During the AA gathering, Braunwyn was asked to lead the meeting and ended up making a speech geared towards Gina.
“She made this speech about how she had displayed this anger towards me and she apologized to me,” Gina explained in a confessional. “She didn’t have to do that and that meant a lot to me.”
“I feel like I 100 percent have left all of any anger I had towards you,” Gina told Braunwyn while the pair got coffee. “And I hope you feel that way about me.”
Braunwyn agreed, offering another apology: “I need you to know that I was trying to hurt you and I'm sorry and I won’t do that again.”
Gina then asked if she could still attend Braunwyn's upcoming vow renewal in Palm Springs, after having previously declined the invitation. Braunwyn said she “would love” to have Gina there, and her friend then made a promise to not drink at the celebration.
“I also want you to know that at your vow renewal I'm not going to drink at all,” Gina said. “I want you to feel that at least, if you’re struggling or something, you have someone that's a safe place.”
“I'm really learning that if you get past all the outside stuff, most women I would imagine have a lot more in common than we care to admit,” Braunwyn shared in her confessional following the conversation.
Elsewhere in the episode, newcomer Elizabeth Lyn Vargas expressed a similar sentiment, telling Kelly Dodd and Shannon that the group should consider being “a little more cautious” when it comes to drinking at the vow renewal, after Kelly joked they “like to get MC Hammered.”
“Well I’m not a quitter, so,” Kelly said to Elizabeth’s suggestion.
“I’m a little disappointed in Kelly’s behavior because I have a little soft spot in my heart for Braunwyn,” Elizabeth later said in a confessional. “She reminds me exactly of my sister and that emptiness, and that need to feel love and belonging.”
Elizabeth had previously opened up about her relationship with her sister, who started using heroin at age 14.
“Growing up, Anna and I were inseparable,” Elizabeth said. “I was her older sister — she always looked up to me. And then she turned 14, she started rebelling and she got into drugs.”
“Not knowing where she’s at and that she’s missing is tearing my soul apart,” she added during a conversation with her mom. “I can’t help her.”
The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.
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