Sharna Burgess is opening up about a “scary” time of her life.
The Dancing with the Stars mainstay may be at the height of her career now, but she’s definitely taken a bumpy path to get there… During a Monday episode of her Old-ish podcast with fiancé Brian Austin Green and co-host Randy Spelling, the 38-year-old revealed she has a dark history with hard drug abuse, which she says began when she was just 15 years old after a “knee injury” left her unable to dance. For two years, she partied hard — until one day “the universe” helped her come to a “moment of clarity.” She recalled:
“This was at the end of probably being awake for three days. We were sitting at the backyard of someone’s house, and a crack pipe was being passed around with meth in it and we were all taking hits of it.”
Sharna, who was just 17 at the time, explained that by that point, she had been “smoking meth for a little while,” but claims she wasn’t necessarily “hooked” on it because “it was new.” She remembered:
“It was definitely at that time a party drug going around all the time, and I was partying pretty much, three to four days a week.”
Wow. SO young. However, as she sat in that backyard, she somehow snapped out of the moment:
“I was sitting there watching this pipe pass around and the universe, God — whoever you call it — gave me this moment and I saw everybody sitting opposite me with complete clarity of what my future looked like. Here I was 17 years old, high awake for three days, watching 20 somethings and maybe even young 30 somethings passing around this crack pipe just waiting to get a little bit more out of it.”
That’s so wild… Not ONLY the drug use, but also that she was in the company of much older people, who clearly had no regard for her impressionable young age. However, in that moment, she somehow rose above the self-destructive lifestyle:
“I realized that I had come from being an Australian champion ballroom dancer. I represented my country at the World Championships. I was an athlete, the best in the country at the time, and because of a knee injury I fell off. But I realized how far I’d and how much I needed to get back to that person, that this was not what I was meant for.”
She remembered thinking at the time:
“You had that moment on your floor on your knees. ‘I am here for a reason. I am here for more.’ And I got given that blessing of a moment to see where I was at. And that was where it all changed for me and I understood. I need dance back in my life.”
It sounds like it would be so hard to not only come to that realization on your own, but to also have the strength to remove yourself — but she did. The Aussie native took herself out of those sort of environments to eliminate the temptation as she said she had “no willpower,” and moved to Melbourne and got back into dance.
Brian then asked his love if prior to that instance in the backyard, there were any “little signs” telling her to get out of that lifestyle, and Sharna admitted to some really “scary moments.”
“There definitely scary moments. There was a moment at a rave when I was incredibly dehydrated and had taken too many things and started frothing and foaming at the mouth a little bit because I was so dehydrated.”
At the time, she had to be treated by paramedics because of the extent of her condition, while was literally a sobering moment:
“You sober up very quickly when you’re in fear of your life like that.”
However, she shared that it “still wasn’t enough” for her to stop, as “triggers” like her home life and relationship with her father “sent” her right back into it:
“I was very, very uncomfortable in my reality, so I would escape to this place of euphoria. And eventually the things I would take to get to that place of euphoria weren’t strong enough or enough and I do more and have more and more often. And that was the slippery slope for me. I would have been given these moments but I don’t think I was ready to hear them, see them or listen to them because I was so uncomfortable in my space without that vice. I didn’t consider that it could be different or better.”
However, it was ultimately dance that saved her, which she says she’s forever “thankful” for:
“I lost my way of working through things even though I didn’t know that at the time. I think the strength came from realizing I needed to get back into that.”
Wow, what a vulnerable story. We’re so glad she was able to pull herself out of that place… She’s so successful now, career-wise, and, of course, personal life-wise with her partner Brian and their 14-month-old son Zane.
A post shared by Ｓｈａｒｎａ Ｂｕｒｇｅｓｓ (@sharnaburgess)
What do YOU think of her story, Perezcious readers?? Let us know in the comments down below.
If you or someone you know is experiencing substance abuse, help is available. Consider checking out the resources SAMHSA provides at https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline or check out StartYourRecovery.org
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