Kurt Angle has released the following blog on kurtanglebrand.com, discussing his battle with addiction, him leaving WWE, and what his condition was like in TNA:
In 1999, I signed with WWE, and by the end of that year I was on WWE television and doing incredibly well. I had found my new love, professional wrestling. But it was almost taken away from me, AGAIN, when I broke my neck again in 2003. I had surgery and was put on pain medication. That was the beginning of my dark journey.
The pills made me feel invincible and kept me in the game, until my sister Le’Anne died of a heroin overdose, not long after my surgery. I didn’t want to feel pain, or anything. I had not grieved for my father, my grandmother, my coach or my sister, and I wasn’t about to begin. At least not with the success I was having in WWE. I felt like everything was being taken away from me.
So I 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. 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.
After I went to TNA, I was taking a lower dose of medication but I didn’t entirely quit. I started drinking alcohol excessively and went through a bad divorce. Eventually, 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.