Nearly three seasons later, the TV star has lost her husband Russell, who took his own life in 2011, struggled with alcohol abuse and released her first memoir.
Celebuzz recently spoke to Armstrong, 41, who has been spending her winter months in Vail, Colo. with her 6-year-old daughter Kennedy.
Celebuzz: What have you been up to lately? Tell us about all the new things you’re focusing on right now.
Taylor Armstrong: Well, as you said, I’ve been in Vail. I’ve just been really enjoying the winter here . . . I decided just to take Kennedy and get away for a while. And go somewhere a little more simple and more quiet and without all of the action of L.A., so that I could take some time to put some closure on that chapter of my life that has been so dramatic and to really . . . have that behind me.
CB!: You’re so honest about everything. And a lot of fans have seen a lot from you on the show. What do you want to tell them? Set the record straight about what we’ve seen recently from you.
TA: Absolutely, well you know I guess the first thing is to keep in mind that those were shot several months ago. So a lot has changed and a lot of healing has happened since then. But, absolutely that first year of going back after the tragedy and then what I had lived through previously I knew it wasn’t going to be easy and I still had a lot of scars and I was putting Band-Aids on them all over the place with alcohol and you know just trying not to face a lot of my emotions and also with the financial difficulties and the lawsuits and just everything.
I was overwhelmed and I didn’t know how to cope and there was times I just didn’t want to feel any of it and so having some wine made it easier and a little more wine and a little more wine and pretty soon you don’t feel a thing and makes it a lot easier to go lay down and feel like you can actually get a good night’s sleep. It began to be a bit of a cycle for me that when I would have a tough day with attorneys or I was really feeling emotions from the death that I would find myself reaching for a glass of wine or three and thankfully I have people close enough to me that were willing to say to me, “I know you’re going through a lot but you’re not doing a good job coping so let’s try to figure something out here.”
CB!: You really opened up on your blog about sort of struggling with alcohol issues after the death. How did you come to that decision to open up your heart about issues that a lot of people could relate to?
TA: Well much like my going back in Season 3 a lot of people were like, “Are you really going to go back?” You know people go through tragedy and they go through really difficult times. I think they need to see what that’s like.
Hopefully, I was going to do it in a more elegant way than I did but I think it’s good for people to see that not only are we real people but that there’s some “relatability” for everyone in the world that goes through challenges and we all can screw up on our way. And in some ways Brandi [Glanville] and I have connected on that level because when she went through this horrible divorce you know it was really devastating to her.
CB!: Do you feel like you’re on the path to healing? Do you feel like you do have a problem or is it not like that?
TA: Absolutely, you know everything is really good now. When Kyle and Kim[Richards] came to me, one of Kim’s suggestions was go away to the mountains, which was just where she had chosen to do her rehabilitation and it coincidentally worked out that I was going to go the mountains and then spend some time there.
Kyle gave me a really good piece of advice. It was so hard for me to leave my house and in some ways I knew in my mind that it was time for me to go and to close that chapter and let go of those memories but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. So having Kyle say to me, “Taylor it’s time to get out of the house. It’s time to go” and really reflecting back on that day both of those pieces of advice were real lifesavers for me. I packed up the house, brought Kennedy to the mountains.
You know, you can stay real busy in L.A. and not have to feel very often because there’s so much going on there’s so much action and I’m extremely busy when I’m there. And then when you come up to the mountains it’s quiet and you’re making dinner at home and building fires and you’re skiing. You have a lot more time to think and really look at your emotions and I wanted to make sure that I was in a better place than I was when they came to visit me. So, I’m there now.
CB!: Of course the news these days is that Adrienne Maloof was not invited back, and CamilleGrammerisn’t coming back either. What do you think about their departures? Was it weird at the recent reunion taping?
TA: Well, I can’t confirm those things but you know anytime someone makes a decision to leave, especially that original core group, it’s a little strange. We’re like a family — I always say we’re like Family Feud a lot of the times but it is a little strange when you feel like a member of our close group isn’t going to be there as much anymore, it’s a little more challenging but people make those decisions because of things going on with their families or you know Camille was on the show less this year because I know she wanted to spend more time with her children after her divorce so I think that its up to everyone and I don’t know, I like seeing the original six.
CB!: Have you made a decision to come back to the show next season?
TA: Well, we haven’t been picked up for Season 4 and no decision about casting has been made. There’s always crazy speculation. I was just saying to someone that my favorite was I read was we’re all getting fired. They’re going to fire the whole cast!
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs Mondays at 8PM on Bravo.
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