RHOC's Braunwyn Windham-Burke Celebrates One Year Of Sobriety With Moving Message

Braunwyn Windham-Burke marked the special occasion with her husband of more than 20 years, Sean Burke. Read their tributes to each other over the star's milestone.

By Alyssa Morin Jan 31, 2021 9:41 PMTags
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Braunwyn Windham-Burke is celebrating an important milestone.

The Real Housewives of Orange County star took to Instagram on Sunday, Jan. 31 to share that she's one-year sober. The 43-year-old star marked the special occasion with her husband of more than 20 years, Sean Burke, at the Montage in Laguna Beach, Calif.

"No one ever said it would be easy, but thank you @seanwindhamburke for making it easier," the Bravolebrity captioned her post. "Officially #1YearSober... as always, one day at a time."

She added the hashtags, "#onedayatatime" and "#oneyearsober."

Additionally, Sean praised his wife in a separate post, writing, "It's been a year, and you made it.... sober. So happy we are where we are today!"

Considering this was a noteworthy celebration, the couple dressed in their Sunday best. Braunwyn wore a nude-colored gown that featured a strapless corset bodice and voluminous tulle bottom. She accessorized with a jewel-embellished headband. Sean also looked dapper with his white button-down shirt, black slacks and charcoal-colored jacket.

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Just three months ago, the reality TV personality opened up about her recovery journey in an exclusive interview with E! News. She shared what it was like to film that part of her life and how she dealt with her sobriety on RHOC's 15th season.

"January 30th, that was my sobriety date. January 31st is when I sat down with our three producers to go over what's going on in your life," she said back in October 2020. "You sort of say, 'Hey, this is what we have going on. These are what our important dates are.' You sit down and kind of plan out the next four months, just so they have an idea of what's going on in your life. And I had off-handedly said, 'Oh, I'm getting healthier. I was drinking too much. I'm getting 'healthier.' And they were supportive."

Randy Shropshire/Bravo

"Thomas, my showrunner, was like, 'OK, great,'" she continued. "He sent me a nice little article. And then I went to Beaver Creek, skiing with my family. It was a disaster. Detoxing on a mountain is not a great idea. Detoxing with seven children, not fun. I was psychotic. It wasn't pretty."

Moreover, Braunwyn explained that she asked another Bravo star for advice as she embarked on this new chapter, saying, "I had this moment of: Call Captain Sandy [Yawn, of Below Deck: Mediterranean]. Because her girlfriend Leah [Shafer]'s a friend of mine. And I called her because I knew she'd been sober for 30 years."

"She talked to me and she said, 'Look, you have to own this on television because it's going to make you accountable,'" Braunwyn recalled of their conversation. "And I'll never forget these words: 'You had no problem getting drunk on camera. Why are you having a hard time getting sober?' And there was a lot of shame around that."

"I didn't want to go to support meetings. I was embarrassed," she admitted. "I thought, in a weird way, I was better than alcoholism, almost. 'Oh, no, I'm fine. I can do this on my own.' But she really just put me in my place and said, 'You don't want to talk about this because then you have an out. If you own this on television, you don't have an out.' And I was like, 'Oh, my god, she's so right. She's so right.'"

You can read through Braunwyn's full interview here.

(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)