"I like beer in the summer because it's cold and thirst-quenching, so I'll have a Heineken Zero, and I feel like I'm drinking," the "Real Housewives of New York" star says.
Luann de Lesseps says she's still sober, and that's in part thanks to non-alcoholic beer and vaping.
The "Real Housewives of New York" star stopped by Jenny McCarthy's SiriusXM radio show Wednesday, where she opened up about how she deals with stress now that she doesn't have alcohol in her "toolbox."
"It's a wave," the countess and cabaret star explained. "It's like you go to the beach and you stand in the ocean and the wave is coming and it's like, 'Oh, here it comes!' And then it comes and it breaks and it goes away. So do those feelings."
"So if you can just give yourself a deep breath and a minute to be like, 'It's okay. I feel this way. It's alright to feel this way. It's okay to want to drink because that's, you know, you have been doing this your whole life. So take a deep breath and, you know, reach for that mocktail,'" Lu continued. "Like, I'll have a mocktail. You know what I've gotten into is Heineken Zero, so I feel like I'm having a beer. I like beer in the summer because it's cold and thirst-quenching, so I'll have a Heineken Zero, and I feel like I'm drinking. And I'll vape, too! I'll take a puff on a vape and get through the moment."
"You think it's so big, and if you just give it a second, it just goes away and then you can deal with it," she said.
Luann was arrested in Palm Beach, Florida, following a drunken meltdown in December 2017. She's since attended rehab twice. Earlier this year, however, the reality star was found to have violated the terms of her probation, which prompted a judge to impose stricter conditions.
Viewers of "RHONY" Season 11 saw Luann's struggle to maintain her sobriety and relationships following an intervention spearheaded by co-star Bethenny Frankel, who later went ballistic and accused Lu of "dining out" on her sobriety. Luann came to find peace and comfort in her cabaret show, but not in her co-stars.
"I think it's harder to deal with them than being sober," she told Jenny. "Being sober's the easy part, you know? It's difficult to live under the microscope as it is, but then to not have your friends to help you out is even worse. It's really difficult."
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