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While many of his fellow cast members, including Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Jenni "JWOWW" Farley, Vinny Guadagnino, and Pauly D have all gone on to fame and fortune post-Jersey Shore, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino has remained out of the spotlight — and with good reason.

The 32-year-old former reality star opened up to the Associated Press about how he’s trying to put his life back together after a harrowing battle with painkillers nearly took everything from him.

Mike said he realized the extent of his problem while on vacation in 2012 when he discovered that his prescription bottle was empty.

“All I had to do was get dressed for a family function and I couldn't do that," he said.  

"The shirt was laid out, the belt, the pants, everything. The shower was on. I couldn't even get out of bed," he admitted.

Mike, who had been prescribed powerful narcotic painkillers after becoming injured on the set of Dancing With the Stars, said it was then that he asked himself, “If I can't do that how am I going to continue?"

While he denied reports that he was ever addicted to more than one substance, Mike admitted that other people took notice of his addiction too. "People would say, 'Mike's not the same Mike we've seen before.'" Defensive, he would reply, "I don't know what they're talking about" although he now admits, "I was suffering a disease."

After going to rehab, he’s been sober ever since, including during the final season of Jersey Shore, which, he admitted, was no small feat. He said that he takes his sobriety seriously, trying to adhere to the tried-and-true AA and NA adage “one day at a time,” attempting to be, as he put it, “the best person I can be for those 24 hours."

While Mike’s prescription pill use may have prompted him to turn his life around, the addiction doesn’t seem to have damaged him financially or romantically. Not only does the Situation have as many cars as ever, he also just got a sweet new crib. In the romance department, the Jersey boy reunited with his college sweetheart and the two have been Instagraming their love.

As for the future, he would like to get back into showbiz. He’s off to a good start with his own Jersey Shore spin-off, which will focus on him and the Sorrentino clan, including his brothers, sister Melissa, and mother Linda. But that’s not the only project Mike has going on. His new website showcases some of his custom apparel and accessories.

What’s really important to Mike, however, is inspiring others.

“The roller coaster of fame and fortune is definitely a ride in itself but to get to recovery is something special,” he said. “There is hope out there and you can get help."

Source: Associated Press