Back in July, it was revealed that Luann de Lesseps, star of Real Housewives of New York, would miss the show’s 10th season reunion taping because she had gone back to rehab shortly after making it to six months of sobriety.
Now, de Lesseps is speaking openly about the events that led to her relapse and how she’s doing currently. Appearing Tuesday morning on TODAY With Megyn Kelly, de Lesseps said she feels “great,” but that “every day is a struggle.”
Recalling her relapse, de Lesseps said things started when she saw news of some legal issues with her ex-husband in the media.
“That was devastating,” she said. “I felt betrayed, I felt so hurt by that.”
She was hanging out with a friend at the time who mentioned that she loved making watermelon martinis. “I said, ‘I’m in,’” de Lesseps explained. “I had two or three of those, then I had two bottles of rose by myself, then probably a six-pack of beer or something. I can’t have [just] one drink.” She added, “I don’t know when to stop. I can’t.”
As SELF wrote previously, a relapse doesn’t mean you or your treatment has failed. But it means there’s more work to be done.
“The reunion I’m not at because I’m in rehab,” de Lesseps confirmed in the interview. “I had to take care of myself first.”
That’s exactly what experts recommend. “Slips are inherent in the process of recovery,” Nasir Naqvi, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons told SELF previously. What matters most is that you engage with treatment in some way, either by continuing to work with the professionals you’re currently seeing or returning to those you saw previously to discuss how to move forward.
Now, after a second stay in rehab, de Lesseps told Kelly that she’s back to going to AA meetings regularly. “I take it very seriously,” she said. “I have a whole new family.”