Mike Kanellis is a WWE superstar, having recently premiered on the Smackdown brand with his wife, Maria. However, when he wasn’t in front of thousands of people in “The Squared Circle,” Kanellis was suffering from something that is far more common than most people think: painkiller addiction.

In a 10-minute mini-documentary on WWE’s Youtube channel, both Mike and Maria sat down with WWE reporter Renee Young to talk about Mike’s addiction and the impact it had on their relationship.

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Kanellis told WWE about how he first went public with his addiction in August, with an Instagram post of him literally “getting on the wagon”. As Kanellis explains, “this picture was my way of making my beautiful wife laugh during one of the most difficult times in our life.” Kanellis has now been clean for three months and counting.

As is often the case with painkiller addiction, Kanellis was originally prescribed painkillers by a doctor after sustaining multiple injuries. “After that, I had a lot of downtime…so you go from being in pain and this gets you through the work, and then it gets you through the day when you’re bored.”

Ultimately, Kanellis decided to go public with his story because “it felt like the right thing to do,” and he’s glad that his story has reached others with similar addictions who have told him they are now getting help.

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