Season 15 of The Real Housewives of Orange County was a rough ride in many ways.
It was definitely difficult to watch Braunwyn Windham-Burke break down on screen, especially more than once.
Getting sober was only part of her journey to becoming healthier, and sobriety had obvious pitfalls for her.
With her health on the line, Bravo didn’t want to risk Braunwyn dying because being a sober Real Housewife is so difficult.
At least, that’s how Braunwyn Windham-Burke characterized things during an Addiction Talk interview this week.
According to her, the fact that she “wasn’t in the healthiest spot” led to her being let go from the series.
Being a Housewife was her “first job,” and it was incredibly “hard” for her to deal with being sacked.
But it wasn’t the right time for Braunwyn to be on television, and Andy knew it.
Braunwyn was wrestling with some “serious life stuff.”
There was more than just alcoholism; once the fog of intoxication had lifted, Braunwyn realized that she was gay.
As amazing as that self-discovery was, it came after months of real struggles.
“I was suicidally depressed a few times,” Braunwyn recalled. “And I did have to go get help once.”
She clarified: “This was prior, this was the first time I got sober.”
“Since getting sober this time, I have been on the floor,” Braunwyn admitted. “I have been depressed.”
She explained: “When I got fired, I was very depressed.”
“This is the first job I’ve ever had,” Braunwyn described, “and it was really hard for me to work through it.”
Upon being fired, she found herself asking: “Why don’t they like me?’ Why aren’t I good enough?”
Braunwyn admitted on camera during Season 15 that she had hit her husband multiple times.
Many people who had previously liked and supported her were horrified and wanted her, and all domestic abusers, fired.
“My sobriety and my coming out were definitely intertwined,” Braunwyn acknowledged.
“I had been hiding a huge part of my life, even from myself,” she admitted. “I definitely had an identity crisis.”
While filming, Braunwyn “figured out” who she was and “went through it all.”
Ultimately, getting sober before the pandemic began saved her life.
“If I had gone into lockdown drinking, I would have died,” she admitted.
Braunwyn predicted: “I would have drank myself to death.”
Many have expressed hurt and dismay that what should have been the story of a sober woman becoming the first openly gay Real Housewife turned into something else.
This also threw Bravo for a loop, forcing the network to once again reshuffle the deck, so to speak, trying out a new cast dynamic in Season 16.
It’s a sad way for the first openly gay Housewife’s story to be told.
While Braunwyn disappointed a lot of people, we are glad that she is in a much better place with her health and mental state.
Similarly, we are pleased that the franchise is introducing their very first married gay couple on The Real Housewives of Miami.
This is long overdue, but the revival of this spinoff (which will air on Peacock) is the embodiment of “better late than never” in more ways than one.