Despite Dax Shepard’s success with his podcast, Armchair Expert, he weathered a huge crisis that became one of his most emotional broadcasts ever — he admitted he relapsed this year. The shame he felt revealing his addiction to opioids had reared his ugly head was hard to face, but he has wife Kristen Bell to thank for helping him find the light.
In a special holiday episode of the podcast, he brought on his wife of seven years to join him, along with co-host Monica Padman, to talk about how meaningful the year has been for him despite a lapse in his sobriety. He credits both women for lifting him up during his darkest days. “It saved my life,” he told them during the podcast.
“I can’t imagine having to admit that to other people and feeling as safe as I did that you guys wouldn’t hate me,” he said to Bell and Padman. “I hated me at that point and so, to be able to tell you guys and feel unconditionally loved and that I would be accepted was really special.”
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While The Good Place actress was appreciative of her husband’s gratitude, she complimented him for being honest even when he was embarrassed to be back in the addiction cycle. “Nobody saved you but you,” she praised Shepard, “and your courage and boldness to say, ‘I feel like I’m slipping’ or ‘I did slip and I need to be honest before it gets worse’ and I’m just grateful to all parties involved. I think we did a really good job, team.”
At the time of his admission, the 45-year-old actor was supposed to be celebrating his 16th year of sobriety, so he felt like a fraud when he knew that he was using again after suffering injuries from a motorcycle accident. He revealed in September, “I feel shady, but I don’t feel like this is a problem.”
With a little over three months of sobriety under his belt, Shepard is saying something that not many people would say about 2020. “I feel guilty saying this, but I still loved this year immensely,” he admitted. “I loved this year. I had a great year.”
Bell has always had her husband’s back and she appreciated his honesty, even though he faltered. “The thing I love most about Dax is … that he was able to tell me and tell us and say, ‘We need a different plan,’” she said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in October. “I will continue to stand by him because he’s very, very worth it.”
The couple has also revealed that they went back to couples’ therapy to help work through Shepard’s addiction issues and create an even stronger bond. Their marriage has weathered a lot in 2020, but they are sticking together no matter how hard the fight is ahead.
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