Ronnie Ortiz-Magro says he wants to "be a better person, a better father for my daughter"
Ronnie Ortiz-Magro wants to turn his life around.
The Jersey Shore star revealed on Tuesday that he sought help at HeadWaters holistic treatment center in West Palm Beach, Florida, to deal with alcohol abuse and depression. He left the center last week after about a month.
A rep for Ortiz-Magro did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
“I decided to go to treatment because I was just making the wrong decisions and I was very depressed,” he told Us Weekly, adding that he wanted to “be a better person, a better father for my daughter.” (He shares 10-month-old daughter Ariana with on-again-off-again girlfriend Jen Harley.)
“When I was depressed, I would just turn to drinking, and when I would drink, bad things would just continue to happen because I wasn’t reacting the way I should,” he said. “I was very depressed. Very angry. Resentful to myself about a lot of things I’ve done over the last year, or even years. I’m proud of stuff, but I’m not proud of a lot of stuff. I was definitely in a place where I just didn’t know how to control my life anymore.”
Ortiz-Magro, 33, told Us Weekly that while he’s in a “happy, healthy” place now, he knows it will be an uphill battle.
“I think it’s a chronic disease, it’s a progressive disease,” he said. “I’m still struggling. I’m going to struggle for the rest of my life. It’s a monkey that’s on your back and it’s never going to get off.”
Of his history with addiction, Ortiz-Magro told the outlet that he would go through cycles.
“It’s definitely something that’s progressed because I would drink and then I wouldn’t drink,” he said in the interview. “I would work out, get healthy when we were filming or traveling, and then all of a sudden, you start up again and it’s worse than when you stopped. And then you stop and then you start up again and it’s worse than when you stopped. You’re like, ‘Wow, I thought I had this under control.’ But at the end of the day, it has full control over you.”
Ortiz-Magro’s struggles came to light on Jersey Shore Family Vacation last year while the cast was shooting in Miami. On the season finale, the roommates sat down for their last family dinner and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino revealed that Ortiz-Magro had been considering rehab.
“Did you not call me two weeks before we came here and say you needed rehab?” he said, alleging Ortiz-Magro had told him he would seek treatment once they were done shooting the season.
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“No, I said I needed help,” said Ortiz-Magro. “My rehab is different from your rehab.”
“Rehab is rehab,” replied Sorrentino.
Later, Sorrentino apologized for outing his friend’s personal struggles and they hugged it out.
“You went low, and I went lower and I’m sorry for that,” said Ortiz-Magro. “That’s something I need to work on and it’s with you, with my friends, with the woman that I’m with. When someone goes low, I need to stop going lower because it doesn’t resolve nothing.”