RHOC’s Braunwyn Windham-Burke on Sobriety During a Pandemic

Emilee Geist

E! News: And then, on top of it, the whole world starts to fall apart, right? Three months in is when the pandemic is declared, and we go into lockdown. For me, there were almost two sides of the same coin with this. Obviously, it was like, holy s–t, now there’s this other, crazy external pressure on the world, on me, on everybody right now that I also have to navigate through. But on the flip side, I found a lot of positives to being someone who had started to approach life very differently right before it happened. I almost feel like it helped me be prepared to take life one day at a time, the way that we sort of have to now. I’m curious how going into quarantine and the world changing the way that it did affected your journey this year?

BWB: First, I want to say it’s awful. I know a lot of people lost their lives. This has been horrible on the world, on the economy—this has been bad on so many levels. And I definitely want to acknowledge that and honor that. From a personal standpoint, being able to step away from life, having no fear of missing out, not having to film was a blessing. I got to do exactly what I needed to do, which was go in my home, reconnect with my family and close the doors. I’m very grateful for that time. It was, for me, very cathartic, very healing. I didn’t have any distractions, so I was forced to look inward. And that’s probably what I needed to do. I have a tendency—even in sobriety, I still do this. I’m quicker now to check myself, I have a mentor. I actually just called her before this because I see myself doing it. I have a tendency to sometimes believe my own BS and get stuck in my ego. And so for me to not be able to go out, to not go shopping, to not travel—because that’s been a big escape for me—I was forced to sit in it. And that was probably the healthiest thing for me, at the time.

Like I said, it’s horrible. I hate that this happened to the world, but, for me, it was good. Once I found the online support meetings. That did take me a little while, I didn’t have the community yet. I’ve been going to meetings, but I didn’t know anyone yet. I didn’t have a mentor yet. So once I got the Zoom meetings and really got involved—I was going to two or three a day—it was nice. It was in my bedroom. I had that outlet. I was focused on me. I was taking the steps I was supposed to be doing. I had the time that I hadn’t had in a long time. It was good for me, and I feel such a sense of guilt saying that, you know?

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