Cheryl Burke has been on "Dancing With the Stars" since 2006 and over the past 16 years, she has been through a lot.
In an Instagram post she shared on Tuesday, the dance pro, who has battled addiction and anxiety, reflected on her time on the show and how she's tackling challenges head on.
"As I sit here today in the middle of season 31 of DWTS, I can't help but go back to my first season on the show (in 2006) and notice how unconscious, broken, and scared that little girl was," the two-time Mirrorball trophy winner wrote.
"I had used my addiction to numb my reality and embrace the world with no qualms," she said. "However, with each drink I drank, especially the last couple of years of my partying days, my fears, and the negative thoughts that slowly got louder and louder in my head, became unbearable. No matter how much I tried to numb I realized that all of the booze in the world I chose to poison myself with was no longer working. In fact, it made everything louder and scarier."
In 2021, Burke opened up about her struggles with sobriety to "Good Morning America," and said she decided to give up alcohol when she got engaged to her ex-husband, Matt Lawrence. She told the "LadyGang" podcast in 2020 that she wanted to walk away from her past addiction and said she didn't want to end up like her late father, who she said was an alcoholic.
In August, she celebrated four years of sobriety.
"With the sobriety, it's hard for me to be around people who may have had a few drinks," she told "Good Morning America" at the time. "I tried going out a few weeks ago with a couple of girlfriends and I just know that I know my limit. If I'm not conscious, if I'm not intentional about it, I will easily pick up a drink."
In her Instagram post on Tuesday, Burke said that while she does still face a lot of fears, she's no longer "pushing those fears away or running away from them."
"I'm choosing to invite them in and take action so that I can stop facing the world with fear, and start embracing what makes me uniquely ME," she wrote. "By choosing vulnerability and self love I have also realized along the way that some people may not want to hear it or be a part of it however, it's who I am and more importantly by sharing my journey it takes any shame I've had away and in result, it's what brings me a sense of peace and ease which is ultimately what I'm striving for in my life right now."
Burke's Instagram post comes after an episode of her podcast "Burke in the Game" earlier this week, during which she addressed whether or not the current season of "Dancing With the Stars" would be her last.
"A lot of people have asked me if this is my last season," she said. "The answer to that question is likely yes, this is my last season, as a dancer that is."
"To have been a part of a show for 26 seasons, it is hard for me [to leave] ... I always come back, because, I guess, it's really hard to say goodbye to a show and to a family that I've only known here in Los Angeles," she said. "I moved here when I was 21. I'm 38 now. My body is also telling me to stop and it has been."
"I do believe, though, that I have proven myself enough to where I could either be a correspondent or host," she added. "Not saying I'm trying to take anybody's job, you guys. Please don't write about that. I'm just saying you can always add another host. You can always add another judge. It's a two-hour show with no commercial breaks."
She said that she is currently in the middle of discussions about the other options she may have on "Dancing With the Stars," but said on her podcast that if that doesn't happen, she is "grateful" and will "continue to manifest as much as possible."
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"This is my time now. My contract's up and this is a good time to just be like, 'OK, let's see what's next.' I have to surrender," she said, though things are still up in the air. "Either way, though, I've had an amazing run. It's so sad. It's bittersweet."
In her long run on the show, during which she has won two Mirrorball trophies, Burke has had the opportunity to dance with everyone from actors to singers to former NFL players.
The dance pro competed on the current season of the show with WABC and "GMA" weather anchor Sam Champion. The pair were eliminated last week.
Following the end of their "Dancing with the Stars" run, Champion called Burke "the best there's ever been" in an interview with "GMA."
"People need to know how amazing this young woman is," he said.
"Dancing with the Stars" season 31 streams live on Disney+ each week.
Disney is the parent company of ABC News and "Good Morning America."