Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino Speaks Out for the First Time Since Leaving Prison (Exclusive)

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Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino has made a promise to himself to never take his freedom for granted again.

"I definitely feel like I'm a changed man," the Jersey Shore: Family Vacation star exclusively tells ET in his first interview since leaving prison. He goes on to share what life was really like behind bars, and how he's moving forward with wife Lauren.

"Oh my God, to be a free man, to be honest with you, it's awesome," Sorrentino, fittingly rocking a "Living my best life" T-shirt, explains to ET's Brooke Anderson. "It's fantastic. I have my beautiful wife next to me. I'm healthy, I'm sober, back at work with my best friends on the No. 1 show on MTV and just living the dream."

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Living my best life with my beautiful wife @lauren_sorrentino 🐾 @themoseyworld

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Sorrentino was released on Sept. 12, after serving an 8-month sentence in the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, New York to pleading guilty to tax evasion. He tells ET that what he missed most while being in prison was spending time with his wife.

"You sort of take your freedom for granted sometimes," he admits. "Once you get out, you are taking advantage [of] every minute. Every second, every meal, every conversation with my beautiful wife, with my friends. I love my job, so I am on such an awesome road and we are very excited to see what the future has to offer."

Sorrentino is proud to say he held himself accountable for his past mistakes and hopes his fans will see that, too.

"Our main goal throughout the whole process was to handle it with grace and class," he explains. "Not only for ourselves but to show the young generation out there how to handle adversity and move forward and continue to be the best, even if you make mistakes."

The 37-year-old reality star reveals he was able to stay positive throughout his sentence, all thanks to his wife Lauren and Jersey Shore.

"It's a very uncomfortable situation from start to finish [but] it's not the end of the world," he explains. "I didn't feel sorry for myself, but any time something good happened in our lives, I would be in my feels for that. I was very proud of the Jersey Shore Family Vacation that was airing on TV and it was our wedding [being played out], so every single week I was in prison but I was watching myself on screen.

"I was just proud of myself that, even under extreme stress and adversity, I was still able to do my job and do it well," he continues. "And still able to earn an income while in prison."

To find out more about Sorrentino's rigorous prison routine and how he's inspiring others, tune in to Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday for the full interview.

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