As Shepard, 43, rang in his 14th year of sobriety, the Veronica Mars alum, 38, wrote a sweet tribute to her husband on Instagram Saturday that just might have fans reaching for the tissues.
“To the man mocked me when in our wedding photos because I cried too many tears of joy, who wore a baby Bjorn for 2 straight years to show his girls how to be as adventurous as possible, who held our dear little shakey man pup for 8 hrs straight on the day we had to put him down, I know how much you loved using. I know how much it got in your way. And I know, because I saw, how hard you worked to live without it,” Bell said.
The actress, who shares 5-year-old daughter Lincoln and 3-year-old daughter Delta with Shepard, continued, “I will forever be in awe of your dedication, and the level of fierce moral inventory you perform on yourself, like an emotional surgery, every single night. You never fail to make amends, or say sorry when it’s needed. You are always available to guide me, and all of our friends, with open ears and tough love when its needed most.”
Calling her husband “the fertilizer in the garden of our life,” Bell praised Shepard for sharing his story. She concluded, “I love you more than I ever thought I could love anyone, and I want you to know, I see you. I see how hard you work. You set an excellent example of being human. Happy 14th year sobriety birthday, @daxshepard.”
The mother of two also shared a fun family album that included pictures of the couple’s laid-back wedding and children (whose faces were covered by cartoon hearts and apples).
Bell’s Instagram post particularly spoke to one fan, who commented, “This hit home for me. I’m trying to get sober…again and I hope to continue to have the same kind of support from my partner for just as many years. Thank you.”
Bell replied, “It’s hard and worth it. One day at a time xoxo.”
Meanwhile, Shepard shared that his wife surprised him a unique present for the anniversary — a tour of the King’s Hawaiian factory!
“Best sober birthday present ever. @kristenanniebell got me a tour of the @kingshawaiian factory and I ate 8 STRAIGHT oughta the oven. 2 more upstairs, and 3 at home. 13 all-in for one day is an accomplishment I will not soon forget,” he wrote on Instagram.
“Also, the fact that Kristen looks like a scientist and @mlpadman looks like she’s on a kindergarten field trip just makes my heart swell to dangerous levels. Thanks Ladies!” Shepard added.
The couple has opened up about Shepard’s substance abuse in the past. Two years ago, Shepard tweeted, “12 years ago today I came out of my last toxic, life-threatening stupor. I now have a wife & babies & some self-esteem.”
“Seeing the world through his eyes has really opened mine to knowing that it is a disease and nobody is choosing to drink more than others,” she explained. “They are doing it because of a variety of reasons and they deserve the attention of a mental health professional, and not the county jail or however else we’re choosing to pretend we’re fixing the problem.”