‘DWTS’ Pro Cheryl Burke Is Trying This Recovery Tactic for the First Time Because ‘Therapy Isn’t Working’

Dancing With the Stars pro and podcast co-host Cheryl Burke is “starting to question” her sobriety. The celebrity dancer recently opened up about the triggers that are enticing her to drink again. Plus, Burke talked about her decision to tackle her sobriety with this tried and true recovery method. 

Cheryl Burke, who recently opened up about her sobriety, from Dancing With the Stars on Daily Pop
Cheryl Burke | Nick Agro/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank

Cheryl Burke is more than 2 years sober

Burke has been extremely open with her fans about her recovery and sobriety. In season 29 of Dancing With the Stars, Burke couldn’t have imagined a better partner than Backstreet Boy AJ McLean, who is also sober. 

“That’s why I really wanted AJ,” Burke told the LadyGang Podcast in Sept. 2020. “For him to [dance] with someone who is still fresh in the scene or likes to go out, I was a little worried just as a friend in a way. But I’m glad we [were] partnered up together.”

As a result of their partnership, Burke and McLean co-host the Pretty Messed Up podcast. In a recent episode of the show, Burke talks about her desire to drink again. Now more than ever, she’s relying on her former DWTS partner for help with her recovery. 

Matthew Lawrence and Cheryl Burke’s wedding anniversary made her want to drink again 

Burke and her husband, Matthew Lawrence, recently celebrated their wedding anniversary. The celebrations triggered Burke’s desire to consume alcohol. 

“We had a bottle of champagne delivered to our room because of our anniversary. They obviously didn’t know I don’t drink,” she says on the “I’ll Be There For You” episode of the Pretty Messed Up podcast. “Matt had a little bit and never ever have I been triggered in the last two and a half years until that day. I was like, ‘Oh my God.'”

Burke also recently attended a friend’s birthday event that left her wanting to drink. “I feel like I get bullied into drinking,” Burke admits. “It scared me [because I felt like I was] two seconds away [from drinking].” 

Burke says she also has a lot of “personal stuff” going on right now that’s weighing on her mind. “I feel like I’m walking on a tight rope — therapy’s not working right now,” she adds. Fortunately, Burke has her podcast co-hosts to rely on for support. 

‘Dancing With the Stars’ pro is actively working on her recovery and sobriety with help

Burke’s journey to sobriety has not involved the Alcoholic’s Anonymous program thus far. As she told the LadyGang podcast, being sober was just a decision Burke made for herself. But now that therapy isn’t cutting it, Burke wants to work the steps. 

Burke’s other Pretty Messed Up co-host Rene Elizondo is excited to help her on her journey. During the episode, Burke asks Elizondo to be her sponsor as she works through the program. 

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By admitting her struggles on the podcast, Burke feels like she’s being held accountable by listeners. “I have to say [I’m thinking about drinking], or else I will drink,” the DWTS pro admits. “I’m going to need you guys.”

Burke is relying on her fans and her co-hosts to help her through this challenge. “Nothing excites me more than somebody willing to do what AJ and I have done,” Elizondo concludes. Showbiz Cheat Sheet wishes Burke the best in her recovery. 

How to get help: In the U.S., contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-4357.