Jersey Shore star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino shocked fans when it was revealed back in March that he had checked himself into rehab, reportedly for addiction to a laundry list of prescription pills that included Xanax, Ambien, and Dilaudid. The 29-year-old reality star issued an official statement confirming his prescription drug problem and stint in rehab on March 21. He was released from rehab in early April but has remained relatively quiet in the media about the whole ordeal – until now.
The Situation sat down for an interview with MTV News’ Sway and opened up about his drug problem and resulting stay in rehab for the first time. Here is the full interview in four parts with some of the highlights transcribed for you, including The Situation’s take on his falling out with cast mate and former close pal Snooki.
THE SITUATION COMES CLEAN ABOUT HIS STINT IN REHAB
“Ever since I’ve been out, I’m not gonna lie … it’s not easy,” The Sitch says. “But at the same time, where I’m at right now, I’m at a good place. But it took a little bit to get there. In the beginning? A lot of rainy days, so to speak. A lot of rainy days.”
“My addiction was prescription painkillers.” He was then asked about his first experience with painkillers. “At first? … I thought that it might have given me energy. I thought it helped me. Because it’s a painkiller you’re not tired any more. Then after a while, you’re like ‘Oh wow, maybe this is going to help my schedule out.'”
“I for sure made a mistake by picking a substance over maybe what I previously chose, which is fitness.”
“The real Mike is somebody who is a positive person, a generous person, a loyal person, and somebody that’s going to help you if you call me up and say, ‘Mike I got a flat tire.’ I’m there you know?” He says the Mike we saw in the first two seasons of Jersey Shore is the real Mike.
FIRST DAY IN REHAB
“In the beginning, for sure, when I was in Utah, I’d wake up and just be extremely disappointed with myself. You know, like, ‘I can’t believe I got here. How did I get here? Like, I can’t believe this!’ I didn’t do serious damage to my career, or serious damage monetarily, or to family members, but it could have happened! You know what I mean? All that could have happened.”
He then confesses that he did consider at times whether this could have lead to his death.
“I’ll be honest, the only thing that comes back quick is your emotions. Your emotions come back like a ton of bricks. The substance sort of blocks out feeling, you know, you’re not nervous, you don’t feel pain so to speak. And all of a sudden all these feelings start to hit you. You know, upset, angry, sad, disappointment, expectations, pressure – like everything just hits you all at once. And it feels like you’re not going to recover, it feels like an impossible deed.”
The Sitch later says that it does get better “day by day.”
WHO WAS MIKE ON DRUGS?
Mike says the turning point was an appearance in Australia in which he was so tired he had trouble getting dressed. “I realized right then and there if I so tired I couldn’t do that, how am I going to be able to do any other job, you know what I mean? I needed to ask for help. I was willing to say, you know what? This thing’s bigger than me … No matter how big and bad I thought I was – and from time to time, don’t get me wrong, I think I’m big and bad – but I knew that I couldn’t do it alone.”
THE JERSEY SHORE CAST HAD MIKE’S BACK
“During the last 80 days I’ve received … an email from Vinny, texts from Pauly, I think a text from Ronnie, a text from Jenni – at the end of the day all the kids care for each other, you know? I’m sure some of them didn’t know how to handle it. I’m sure some of them go through their own issues themselves.”
On Snooki: “We used to be very close, to the point where she would call me up and be like, ‘Oh Mike, are you OK? I just saw an article about you that is untrue.’ She had my back, you know? And I had her back, too. We were close for a long time. And we hooked up in season one you know.” He continued, “I am going to say that I’m upset we’re not as close as we are today. I will say that I care about the girl for sure. I think she is a great person, but we all know that in this business that we’re in there’s a lot of variables, you know? And it could mess up relationships. And it does. And it has.”
Is there anything you’ve done you feel like you should apologize for? “Hurting her [Snooki’s] feelings probably … I would never want to hurt that girl’s feelings … That girl is very special to me.”
He then assures Sway that being “sober” doesn’t mean he won’t be heading out the clubs and having a good time. He’s then asked “who is Mike today?” “I wake up every day these days with a smile, you know, happy to be alive … happy to have the family that I have, happy to have the fans that I have, the friends, happy to be involved in the show … almost like a ‘smell the roses’ moment, you know? I’m happy where I’m at man, you know what I mean? I love what I do. When I was a little boy I dreamt of being in front of the camera and look [holds his hands out] we’re in front of the cameras, you know what I’m saying? … I’m just happy as a man. I have no issues, I have no questions about my future. I know where I am and I know where I’m going to be and that’s all that counts.”
The Situation will be rejoining his Jersey Shore cast mates this summer as MTV films the sixth season of the hugely successful reality series.