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Cheryl Burke is opening up about some of the triggering moments while trying to maintain her sobriety.
The Dancing with the Stars pro, 38, admitted she's been thinking about drinking a lot more lately during Tuesday's episode of her Burke in the Game podcast. She told her listeners that she's "trying to practice what I preach" and take her sobriety journey day by day.
"I don't wanna say that I've been feeling like drinking again lately, but it's definitely been on my mind a lot more than normal," she said. "I talked to my therapist about it and I guess also because I haven't been very active with the program and with taking that fourth step that I seem to be stuck on for like the longest time now, but I'm going to slowly get back into it."
"I just noticed, though, when I was out with my friends the other night, that there's a time frame where I should not be out, and I think it's past 10:30," Burke explained. "I know that's like a senior citizen time, but I noticed that after dinner, people want to go out afterwards. I think I'm best just to drop people off as the designated driver and go on my merry way because I am triggered by people who have more than maybe a couple drinks around me, especially late at night."
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The pro dancer said that it's been helpful for her to "call it out" and go public with her sobriety struggles because "once you call it out, the shame goes away."
"I'm really trying to call it out, because that is the name of the game and so that I don't unfortunately or fortunately relapse," she said. "I don't want to have to even have that discussion. I think it's important to hold myself accountable and that's what I'm doing by talking to you guys."
"Thank you for listening and this podcast has been very helpful with any crazy emotions that go through my body," Burke added.
Last year, Burke opened up about her experience with alcoholism during the Heart of the Matter podcast hosted by Elizabeth Vargas. Burke shared that when she started drinking at age 21 after moving to Los Angeles, her life was quickly consumed by alcohol.
"I was drinking because I was numbing — and we all know that that's a scary place," she said, adding, "It was survival mode constantly, seven days a week for me."
Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Getty Cheryl Burke
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Burke told Vargas that she never had a defining, single moment that made her quit drinking, but the "feeling of just emptiness, of feeling there's no purpose," was her own version of "crashing and burning."
"I felt disgusting. There was nothing there," the star said. "I had no identity."
Seeing her father, who was also an alcoholic, on his deathbed with a glass of whiskey contributed to Burke's decision to stop drinking, she said at the time. And when she began to have allergic reactions to alcohol, Burke quit for good.
"Obviously subconsciously something … it was my body rejecting all this poison after drowning with it for so many years," Burke said. After taking a single shot of whiskey at her engagement party in 2018 and breaking out in hives, Burke decided to "quit that night," she said.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.