Amid a quick rise to fame on MTV’s Jersey Shore, Mike Sorrentino, also known as “The Situation,” found himself in the midst of an addiction.
By the time the original show’s fist bumping ended in 2012, the self-proclaimed “guido” was in a full-fledged prescription painkiller addiction. Though, shortly after the show wrapped, Sorrentino entered treatment.
“The Comeback is Greater Than The Setback”
Today, after three visits to various treatment centers, eight months in a New York federal prison for tax evasion, “The Situation,” is four years sober – and he’s giving back to those in situations similar to his own.
“My job is to spread awareness about substance abuse and the disease of addiction,” he said in a People interview. Sorrentino, 37, and his wife, Lauren, 34, recently partnered with a treatment center to advocate and educate others on substance use disorder.
“We want to shed light on the fact that there are positive stories out there — we do recover,” he adds. “Most importantly, the comeback is truly greater than the setback.”
Recalling the most previous time he was in treatment, Mike recalls his decision to finally get sober.
“I just made a promise to myself for there to be no excuses, for me to do the best I can to absorb as much as I could in rehab and practice those principles in my everyday life, and for me to stay on the road to recovery no matter what,” he continues. “Ever since then, I’ve continued being my best self, and now I’m living my best life and teaching others to do the same.”
The Family Aspect
While Sorrentino’s wife, Lauren, has been by his side through his recovery journey, she’s has been affected by addiction within her family.
“Unfortunately, my younger brother passed from the disease of addiction,” she stated. “It was extremely traumatic to go through while he was suffering, and then you don’t even expect it when it happens, so after he passed it was even more challenging.”
Passionate about adding a family aspect of addiction and addiction treatment to help others, Lauren added, “I can completely understand where the families are coming from and the advice they need,” she explains. “They’re scrambling for resources and help and information and sometimes just for a community of support. So I just bring that perspective to all of the people we partner with.”
Lauren states her number one advice for family members and friends of addicts is “to never lose faith in them, and to always reassure them that there is time to turn it around.”
Married just over a year ago, Sorrentino has credited his college sweetheart to helping him get sober.
“She’s definitely my better half and the reason why I strive to be the best version of myself and to fight for our future,” he said in a previous interview. “And to show a good example to her, her family and everyone watching — because my life has been under a microscope. I have a lot to prove.”
“Don’t Forget That Light Is You”
Recently getting out of prison in September after pleading guilty to one count of tax evasion, Sorrentino says practicing the principles he learned when he got sober helped him behind bars. Since being released, he states that he’s “excited about everything.”
He concluded, “There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but don’t forget that light is you. The only person that can fix your life is the person in the mirror,” he said. “In active recovery, there are no excuses. You never want to get off the road to recovery. It’s really about going one day at a time for the rest of your life.”