Dax Shepard, who shares daughters, Lincoln, 8, and Delta, 6, with wife Kristen Bell is not afraid to talk openly with them about his struggles with addiction. In a new podcast appearance, the actor spoke candidly about how he told his daughters of his recent relapse.
The In Fact with Chelsea Clinton podcast host, Chelsea Clinton herself, asked Shepard about how he approached the matter of telling his daughters the relapse news. He simply replied, “Just like I’m talking to you.”
Dax Shepard Explained That His Daughters Know All About His Sobriety and Are Aware That He Attends AA Meetings Twice a Week.
“They know that dad goes to an AA meeting every Tuesday and Thursday,” Shepard told Clinton before sharing a “cuter moment” from a conversation about Alcoholic Anonymous when Lincoln was younger.
“Back when my daughters wanted to be with me 24 hours a day, she said, ‘Where are you going?’ I said, ‘I’m going to AA,'” Shepard explained. “She said, ‘Why do you have to go?’ I said, ‘Because I’m an alcoholic and if I don’t go there, then I’ll drink and then I’ll be a terrible dad.'”
“And she said, ‘Can I go?’ And I said, ‘Well, no, you got to be an alcoholic.’ And she goes, ‘I’m gonna be an alcoholic,'” he continued, through laughter. “And I said, ‘You might become one. The odds are not in your favor, but you’re not there yet.'”
He also went into more detail about his relapse and how he parented around the situation and eventually revealed it to his daughters.
“They knew when I relapsed,” the dad of two told Clinton. “We explained, ‘Well, Daddy was on these pills for his surgery and then Daddy was a bad boy and he started getting his own pills.'”
“Yeah, we tell them the whole thing,” he continued.
Shepard relapsed after 16 years of sobriety. He shared the news with fans on the September 25 episode of his Armchair Expert podcast, in which explained that he used painkillers following a motorcycle accident. The episode was recorded on September 21, when Shepard was only seven days sober.
In the episode, Shepard explained that he had received painkillers after breaking his hand in an ATV accident and then again, following a motorcycle accident that resulted in multiple injuries last year.
Then, he started buying his own painkillers and lying to people in his life. He told listeners that the lying is what allowed him to understand that what he was doing was wrong and that he needed to quit.
Shepard said on In Fact he initially held off on telling his family and friends about the relapse because “I had built this whole identity in my head around having 16 years [of sobriety].”
“I loved having 16 years,” he explained. “I loved being an inspiration to people for sobriety. I was holding onto that so much. I was deriving so much of my self-esteem from that that I was really scared of not having that — and so I avoided losing that for a while.”
“Eventually, I couldn’t do it and I had to tell on myself,” Shepard continued.
And although a relapse is never ideal, Shepard does admit that he feels “so good” now that he’s found the help he needed.
“Clearly, I have resentments and things I need to confront and work out, and so this has been a second chance to confront all these things that had been building up,” he shared. “Today, at least, I feel better with six months than I had felt in 15 years.”
We are so very glad that Dax Shepard continues to be open with himself, his family, and his fans as his candid commentary around his own addiction must be so helpful for others whose lives have also been touched by substance abuse.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction, there are resources available to you. Please contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357) to receive support for you or a loved one who may need it.
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