Cheryl Burke Says She Is ‘Walking a Really Tight Rope at the Moment’ to Maintain Her Sobriety

Getting help. Cheryl Burke is opening up about her struggle to remain sober as she approaches her third year of being clean.

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The 37-year-old Dancing With the Stars pro and her cohosts, former DWTS partner AJ McLean and their friend Rene Elizondo Jr., spoke candidly about Britney Spears’ conservatorship court hearing and the pop singer’s past struggles with addiction during the Sunday, June 27, episode of their “Pretty Messed Up” podcast.

Elizondo, 58, revealed that the professional dancer and her sister called him asking if there was “room” to join his circle with McLean, 43, to “hang with people” and “hear us tell our stories of what we’re dealing with on the day” if she’s ever feeling lost.

Cheryl Burke Walking a Really Tight Rope At the Moment Maintain Sobriety Aj McLean
Cheryl Burke Stewart Cook/Shutterstock

From there, the former Dance Moms personality opened up about her own struggles to maintain her sobriety, revealing that she’s been feeling like drinking again “a lot lately.” During a recent trip to Hawaii, she began to wonder how long the trio’s podcast would last because she relied too much on her cohosts for support.

“I’ve realized … how codependent I am on the two of you in a way because I look forward to these conversations of sobriety, of AJ talking about your ups and downs in life, if it’s been rough at times, and you Rene, being that voice of God,” she said. “For some reason, I was thinking, ‘What if this was all over one day?’ And I had so much anxiety.”

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While visiting Hawaii with her husband, Matthew Lawrence, the hotel sent the couple a bottle of champagne for their anniversary because they didn’t know Burke didn’t drink. She revealed that the Boy Meets World alum, 41, had a few sips and that “never have I ever been triggered in the last two and a half years until that day.”

She then went to a friend’s birthday party and the “same thing” happened. Burke even told her sister, “I’m two seconds away [from drinking].” The dance teacher explained that she “can’t just have one” drink and “might as well just go into this rabbit hole for a couple of weeks,” where no one will find her.

“I have a lot of personal stuff going on right now at the moment, and so it’s been very … I feel like I’m walking on a really tight rope at the moment,” Burke said. “Therapy’s not working right now.”

The two-time DWTS champion added that she’s become “so dependent” on her cohosts as her “only real sober friends that are in [an AA] program.” When she’s not around them, she “starts to question” her commitment to sobriety.

By the end of the podcast episode, Burke asked Elizondo to be her sponsor and added that she already felt better being held accountable for her actions, since she said it on the record.

Cheryl Burke Walking a Really Tight Rope At the Moment Maintain Sobriety Aj McLean
AJ McLean and Cheryl Burke ABC/Kelsey McNeal

Elizondo added, “Nothing excites me more than somebody that’s willing to do what AJ and I have done … Being open to what we’ve done, and I promise you start coming and you start hearing these other people’s stories, you get pumped in the same way that a Peloton instructor pumps you up.”

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He concluded the podcast segment by commending the I Can Do That alum for saying on the air that she’s been thinking about drinking because most people won’t even admit that. Burke chimed in, “I have to say it, otherwise I will drink.”

The Dancing Lessons author previously revealed on the “LadyGang” podcast in September 2020 that she had been two years sober at the time, which is why McLean was her ideal partner for the 29th season of the ABC dancing competition show.

“That’s why I really wanted AJ,” Burke explained during the episode. “Because I’m like, for him to be maybe partnered with someone who is just, like, still fresh in the scene [or] likes to go out, I was a little worried just as a friend in a way. But then I’m glad we’re partnered up together.”

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