During Seasons 1 and 2 of the MTV revival, "Jersey Shore: Family Vacation," Mike -- who's now over two years sober -- felt Ronnie had begun to spiral and suggested he seek help. Ronnie didn't act on the advice until last month, when he finally checked himself into HeadWaters Origins Treatment Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.
"Mike definitely pushed me to get healthy," the 33-year-old reality star said. "Just him being around was definitely an inspiration. We don't call him 'The Situation,' we call him 'The Inspiration' now. When you were the way I was -- just depressed and always angry and resentful and regretful -- you look at him, and you're like, 'I want that. I want to be positive.'"
Ronnie stayed at HeadWaters Origins for one month, where he says he learned that "routine and structure" -- two things he admittedly lacked -- were keys to living a happy and sober life. Ronnie also learned that "boredom and stress," along with a lack of purpose, can lead to bad decisions.
"I was bored. I was still working, filming 'Jersey Shore,' but then that down time, I'd be bored," he said. "I'd wake up and be like, 'What am I doing today?' Instead of being like, 'I'm gonna do this, this, this and this, take a little break and then continue to do this, this and this.' That's really what I lacked was structure and routine."
Another driving force for Ronnie to better his life was his 10-month-old daughter, Ariana Sky Magro, who he shares with on-again, off-again girlfriend Jen Harley. Ronnie said he got to see his first and only child halfway through treatment, which was the exact push he needed to keep going.
"I got to see Ariana, which was really great," he explained. "After two weeks, I kind of hit a wall. I still wanted to be there, but I caught myself drifting when we were doing stuff. And then when she came out, it was like, 'Alright, this is why I'm doing this. This is why I made this decision.' Because you're in there, and like, this is a disease that pops in and out. So you're sitting there, and you're like, 'Maybe I didn't need to do this now. Maybe I could've waited another 10 years.' And then I saw my daughter, and I was just like, 'No, this is something that I need to do now before she grows up and goes, 'Where's dad?'"
"Right now, she's young enough that she doesn't know that I'm gone, really. I mean, she knows, because when she saw me, she gave me a little attitude. She was turning her head and wouldn't look at me -- little brat," Ron said with a laugh. "So she knows, but she can't ask questions yet. She can't go to Mommy and ask, 'Where's dad?' Or Grandma, 'Where's dad?'"
Ronnie said he wanted more than anything to avoid having his daughter grow up and say, "'Remember when I was a kid and you weren't there for me?'"