Kurt Angle recently revealed that he started depending on painkillers after he suffered a neck injury six months prior to the 1996 Olympics. The 1996 Olympic gold medallist said at his lowest point he was taking "65 extra strength Vicodin per day" while battling his addiction.
The former WWE and TNA superstar has disclosed more details about his past addiction and the reason he requested the WWE to let go of him 10 years ago.
The 47-year-old wrestler on his blog KurtAngleBrand.com wrote that the "beginning of my dark journey" started after he suffered a second neck injury in 2003, which almost ended his professional wrestling career. Angle joined the WWE in 1999.
The pain medication he took after undergoing the neck surgery, Angle said made him "feel invincible" and kept him in the game. However, after his sister Le'Anne died of a heroin overdose, Angle said he "didn't want to feel pain, or anything" so he "started taking more and more Vicodin, stuffing the pain deep inside of me. Before I knew it, I was knee deep (more like shoulder deep) into my addiction".
"I was hiding it from WWE, and at that time they weren't drug testing for medication like they do now. I then broke my neck 2 more times over the next 2 years, and the bad relationship/marriage I was in made me feel more alone than ever," Angle said.
Angle added that he requested the WWE to let him go because he "felt guilty about being a liability to Vince McMahon".
"I decided that I could not handle the rigorous schedule of WWE and I felt guilty about being a liability to Vince McMahon. So I asked for my release and I swore I'd get my life together," he said.
After moving to TNA, Angle lowered his dose of medication but didn't entirely quit. He had also started drinking excessively during this time.
"I found the true love of my life, my wife Giovanna. But I kept taking the pills and drinking until I passed out each night. I knew it wasn't fair to my wife or my kids, but I did everything I could to hide my feelings and emotional pain," he said.
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