Michael Phelps is back in the pool and, according to him, he's better than ever.
"I was in a really dark place ...not wanting to be alive anymore," he recalled. "I look back now ...I lived in a bubble for a long time."
Upon getting help after the 2014 arrest
, Phelps said he was terrified. "Hug-hug, kiss-kiss, turn in my phone and go to my room," he said of checking into a rehab facility. "It's probably the most afraid I've ever felt in my life."
The 30-year-old swimmer
added that he learned a lot about himself during this time. "I wound up uncovering a lot of things about myself that I probably knew, but I didn’t want to approach," Phelps admitted. "One of them was that for a long time, I saw myself as the athlete that I was, but not as a human being."
He also confessed that he was burnt out after the 2008 Olympics. "Mentally, I was over. I didn’t want to do it anymore. But I also knew I couldn't stop. So I forced myself to do something that I really didn't want do to, which was continue swimming," he said. "That whole four-year period, I would miss at least two workouts a week. Why? Didn't want to go. Didn't feel like going. Screw it. I'm going to sleep in. I'm going to skip Friday and go for a long weekend."
Now, he's completely clean as he focuses on training. "Haven't had a single sip and will not have a sip," Phelps bragged. "My body fat has dropped significantly, and I'm leaner than I've ever been. The performances were there because I worked, recovered, slept and took care of myself more than I ever had."
He added that he's a "new man" and ready to take on the 2016 Olympic Summer Games. "I'm back to being the little kid who once said anything is possible," Phelps gushed. "You're going to see a different me than you saw in any of the other Olympics."
On Sept. 30, Phelps was arrested
outside the Fort McHenry Tunnel after being pulled over for speeding and crossing the double yellow line. Police said he was going 84 miles per hour in a 45 miles per hour zone, and registered a 0.14 percent on a blood-alcohol test. Here's a look at the police's dashboard camera
footage at the time of Phelps' arrest.