Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images Braunwyn Windham-Burke
Braunwyn Windham-Burke is celebrating 1,000 days of sobriety.
In an interview with PageSix, The Real Housewives of Orange County alum, 44, shared her excitement for reaching the milestone this month despite some of the personal challenges she faced over the past three years.
"There's been some really hard days," Windham-Burke told the outlet. "I have had days where I wanted to drink. I'm not going to sugarcoat it. Ninety percent of the time, it's relatively easy for me not to pick up a drink. Eight percent of the time, it's hard."
The reality star admitted that when she's struggling with sobriety, she tells herself she "will die" if she takes a sip of alcohol. Although it may sound alarming, she assured that it's simply a "tactic" that works for her when she reaches low points in her journey.
"I've been through a lot. I have been through so much since I got sober," Windham-Burke recalled. "There was a pandemic, I lost my first job, I ended a marriage, I've had a few start relationships start and fail, I came out. And all of these things, I think would have been excuses for a lot of people to drink: 'I earned this drink, this has been hard, I've earned this.'"
"At the end of the day, not one thing that I have been through … not one of those things would have been better if I had taken a drink," she added.
Back in January, Windham-Burke celebrated two years of sobriety, telling PEOPLE how she's "grateful" for how far she's come.
"My first year of sobriety was about not drinking — it was about taking it one day at a time, finding my people, and settling in," she said at the time. "It was learning how to deal with what I never thought I could. The second year was where the real work began."
"I am so grateful to have such an amazing support system," Windham-Burke said. "As my second year of sobriety closes, I can't help but think that two years is a hell of a long time without a drink, but such a short time to be sober. There's still so much work to be done, and I'm so excited for what the next year of sobriety will bring."
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Tibrina Hobson/Getty Braunwyn Windham-Burke
At the time, she posted a video on Instagram with an inspirational message to those struggling with their own sobriety.
"I always talk about all the magical parts of sobriety (which it IS!) however, I say it bluntly in this video — sometimes sobriety can SUCK! But I always go back to - it's not worth how I felt when I was drinking. And even though it feels harder than it is euphoric at times, the euphoria and grounding feeling always comes back! Sending you all love," she wrote.
Windham-Burke revealed that she is an alcoholic in 2020 during the season 15 premiere of RHOC and has been open about her journey with sobriety since. In October of that year, she told Glamour that the idea of being sober "scared" her for a while.
"I was scared I wouldn't be fun anymore, that my life was going to be boring. I really thought alcohol made life enjoyable, and that's sad," she admitted to the outlet at the time. "Nine months later, I realize that's not true. Honestly, I dance even more now because I can stay awake. I sometimes used to pass out at, like, 7 p.m. because I had been drinking all day. So yeah, I actually have way more fun now."
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.