The mantra you often hear from people in recovery is "one day at a time." And two months after entering a facility to deal with a prescription-medication addiction, "Jersey Shore" star Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino knows exactly what that means.
"Ever since I've been out, I'm not gonna lie ... it's not easy," Sorrentino told MTV News' Sway in an exclusive interview in which the "Shore" star talks about his struggle to get sober and his attempts to make amends with his "Shore" roomies, especially soon-to-be-mom Snooki. "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."
In the candid interview, Sorrentino opened up about how he got hooked on prescription pills while denying rumors that any illicit substances were involved. With a renewed, more focused sparkle in his eye, the drama king "Shore" viewers loved to hate in recent seasons said he could barely recognize the man he'd become under the grip of addiction as he recounted the struggle of his first days in rehab.
"Your first day is detox," he said of the program he attended. "It's not a pleasurable experience at all. ... In the beginning, for sure, when I was [at the facility] in Utah, I'd wake up and just be extremely disappointed with myself. Like, 'I can't believe I got here. How did I get here?' " Mike said he worried about how his addiction would impact his family, his health and his mind, and at one point, he wondered if he'd end up another tragic Hollywood headline if he pushed things too far.
The hardest part for him, he said, was the headlong rush of emotions he felt once he began to come out of his drug fog, a torrent of feelings he'd been blocking that nearly overwhelmed him. "I'm not gonna lie, it feels like you're not gonna recover," he said about that emotional roller coaster. "It feels like an impossible deed ... [but] day-by-day it gets better."
Now that the "old Mike" is back, Sorrentino said he's gotten supportive emails from much of his "Shore" TV family over the past two months, but the one relationship he still needs to repair is his once-close bond with Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi.
"She had my back and I had her back too," he said of the formerly tight duo. "We were close for a long time. ... I am going to say that I am upset that we're not as close as we are today. I care about the girl, for sure."
Mike said Snooki did tell him she was worried about him and asked if he was OK during the throes of his addiction, questions he brushed off at the time. When asked by Sway if there was anything he'd done that he'd want to apologize to Snooki for, Sorrentino was quick to answer.
"Hurting her feelings," he said. "I would never want to hurt that girl's feelings. That girl is very special to me. If I could turn back the clock, which I always say that I have no regrets ... definitely hurting her feelings ... and our friendship."