Debbie VanStory/Abaca

In his first public comments since the tragic death of his daughter Exodus, 4, in May, Mike Tyson expressed his gratitude for the outpouring of support he has received from the public.

The 43-year-old boxer-turned-actor admitted, however, that he continues to struggle with the magnitude of his loss. Calling himself “a member of an exclusive club no one wants to join,” Mike tells Entertainment Tonight that even after speaking with others who have lost a child, the pain persists. “I don’t know what to do or say,” he concedes. “I am going through a process trying to heal.”

In the aftermath of the accident — in which the toddler accidentally strangled herself on a treadmill cord — Mike says he was hard on himself. “I was staying in the house, depressed,” he reveals. “It was a dark moment in my life.” A role in the new FOX series Brothers has been instrumental in letting some of the light back in, however. “[Acting] keeps me functioning as a healthy human being,” Mike adds.

Brothers premieres September 25th.

— Missy