For Jodie Sweetin, the month of March marked an important milestone. Sure, the former child star, 34, began her stint on Dancing With the Stars. But more importantly for the star of Netflix’s Fuller House, it was the fifth anniversary of her sobriety.
“We all have our demons,” Sweetin, who battled an addiction to alcohol and drugs including crystal meth, tells the new issue of Us Weekly exclusively. “When we finally learn to let them go, we get to live and be free.”
Sweetin speaks from experience. “I’ve got everything I could want,” she says. Her blessings include two healthy daughters, 7-year-old Zoie (with second ex-husband Cody Herpin) and 5-year-old Beatrix (with third ex-husband Morty Coyle), two hit TV shows and a loving fiancé, Justin Hodak. “I look back at things that have happened in the past, and I look at where I’m now, and it’s crazy,” she says. “If anything, my life is a lesson to never give up.” See photos of her adorable daughters here.
She credits Hodak, 39, for her resolve. Though she had been sober before dating him in 2014, the single dad of Tatum, 16, understands her better than any past partner. After all, he, too, is a recovering addict. “He was 11 years sober in December,” explains Sweetin, who met the writer and producer through mutual friends. “We turn to each other for support. We both have our own lives and things we’re excited about, but we combine that, where we have this great relationship.”
Hodak has proved to be such a solid partner that the thrice-married Sweetin is taking the plunge again. “He’s so different and, really importantly, I’m different,” says Sweetin. “I haven’t always had the best luck in relationships, and I’ve learned a lot of lessons. I want to be married. I don’t think there’s anything wrong admitting that it didn’t work before and trying again.”
That fearless attitude also serves her well in DWTS rehearsals. In one of her first practice sessions with pro partner Keo Motsepe, the eager competitor recalls telling him, “I want to look like Peta Murgatroyd!” (That would be the Aussie ballroom champ.) Motsepe, 30, gently managed expectations.“He was like, ‘OK, Peta’s been doing this for 22 years, and you’re at week three. Take it easy on yourself,’” continues the 34-year-old. “I have this mindset of, ‘How do I need to improve? How can I get better?’”
For more on Jodie Sweetin’s journey, pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on stands now.
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