May 09, 2018 01:17 PM

Forget Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino — these days, his costars call him “The Inspiration.”

Earlier this week, the Jersey Shore star celebrated 28 months of sobriety. To honor the milestone, he shared a photo of his two-year medallion.

“28 Months Clean & Sober,” he wrote. “Here is My 2 Year Medallion. We Do Recover.”

Sorrentino, 35, rose to fame as a hard-partying self-proclaimed “guido” on the MTV phenomenon. But by the time the show wrapped in 2012, the New Jersey native was battling a prescription painkiller addiction.

Over five years and two stints in rehab later, Sorrentino is clean — and he credits his fiancée Lauren Pesce with helping him turn his life around.

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“When I met Mike, I met him as a person and not as a celebrity,” Pesce recently told PEOPLE. “So I’ve always known him at his core — him being the most giving and loving family-type of guy in his soul. And through any kind of ups and downs, any kind of darkness that he went through, I always knew that person inside was so important and worth fighting for. I always wanted him to see how special he is so that he would be willing to fight for himself.”

“What I dreamed of, the expectations I had set for him, him getting healthy and sober — I didn’t know that our relationship would survive had those miracles not happened, and they did,” she continued. “He put in the hard work and thanks to the faith in God that we have, we’re in the position we’re in today.”

“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,” Sorrentino said. “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.”

Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino and Lauren Pesce
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

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And as Sorrentino awaits his June 20 sentencing after pleading guilty to tax evasion in a New Jersey federal court in January, he’s maintaining a positive outlook and is hoping for the best — even though he’s facing up to five years in prison.

“I’ve done everything in my power to better myself,” he told PEOPLE prior to the season premiere of Jersey Shore Family Vacation. “I really feel that I’m in the best situation possible.”

“We should receive some closure,” he added. “And I’ll try to move forward with my life.”

Jersey Shore Family Vacation airs Thursdays (8 p.m. ET) on MTV.

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