The Dancing With the Stars pro has been sober for three years now, but she wasn’t always on the straight and narrow.
During an appearance on the “Heart of the Matter” podcast with Elizabeth Vargas on Tuesday, October 19, the 37-year-old opened up about her bumpy road to sobriety.
“I was a ballroom-by-day type girl and then party or club-goer at night for 10 years in a row,” she admitted on Tuesday’s episode. “I am definitely an alcoholic and an addict, yes. One hundred percent.”
The TV personality told Vargas that she started drinking at age 21 after arriving in L.A. She recalled having an “all or nothing” mindset when it came to alcohol, and that eventually her tolerance got so high that “nothing got me drunk.”
During the interview, Burke described her past self as a “functioning drunk,” explaining that she would resort to drinking every single day.
“I was drinking because I was numbing,” she said. “We all know that’s a scary place. It was survival mode constantly, seven days a week for me.”
Before quitting for good, the professional dancer tried to set boundaries for her drinking habits. “I made promises to myself that I would never drink alone, then that started to go away,” she said. “Or I wouldn’t drink before 5 p.m., no drinking on weekdays. It just never stopped.”
Eventually, the Dance Moms alum decided to make a change after “crashing and burning,” and suffering from the “feeling of just emptiness, of feeling there’s no purpose.”
She remembered feeling “disgusting” and believing that she “had no identity” before turning her life around.
Burke also noted that dealing with the death of her father — who also suffered from alcoholism — had something to do with her choice to quit.
The dancer has been sober for three years now, but she previously revealed that sometimes she still finds it difficult to stay away from her vices.
Earlier this year, Burke revealed on an episode of her “Pretty Messed Up” podcast that she had “a lot of personal stuff going on right now at the moment” and that she felt like she was “walking on a really tight rope at the moment.”
She also revealed on Tuesday that attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings has been helpful in her sobriety journey as well. “I’ve been in therapy consistently three times a week,” she said. “But there’s nothing like the program.”