Kym Johnson and David Arquette say goodbye on Dancing with the Stars
11/02/2011 at 10:00 AM EDT
Before his seven-week run on Dancing with the Stars
, David Arquette faced a rough patch that had him making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
But being on ABC's hit show has helped the actor, 40, change his image and put tough times – which included a trip to rehab
, a car accident
and a separation
from wife Courteney Cox
– behind him.
"I learned a lot about myself on this show," the Scream
star told PEOPLE backstage after he and partner Kym Johnson were eliminated
from the series on Tuesday night. "I learned a lot about self-appreciation and finding joy in my life and doing things that are positive for me. Kym and I had the best time. We had a lot of fun."
Arquette, who says his votes are now going to fellow competitor J.R. Martinez, is "sad" about the dismissal, but is also looking on the bright side of getting the boot.
"I'm looking forward to taking my daughter to school, going to ice skating with her, getting to play with her – just sleeping," he said. "I woke up at 3:30 this morning, just amped up. It's just so much high pressure and stress. I'm looking forward to that lack of anxiety on Mondays and spending time with my friends and family."