Dax Shepard Says He Told Daughters the 'Whole Thing' About His Relapse: 'Daddy Was a Bad Boy'
Dax Shepard shares daughters Lincoln, 8, and Delta, 6, with wife Kristen Bell
Dax Shepard isn't afraid to speak candidly to his kids about addiction.
The Parenthood actor, 46, opened up about his relapse on Tuesday's episode of the podcast In Fact with Chelsea Clinton, revealing that he didn't hold back when he broke the news to daughters Lincoln, 8, and Delta, 6, whom he shares with wife Kristen Bell.
When host Chelsea Clinton asked Shepard how he addresses such a serious topic with his children, he simply replied, "Just like I'm talking to you."
"They know that dad goes to an AA meeting every Tuesday and Thursday," he explained, before recalling 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 remembered. "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, laughing. "And I said, 'You might become one. The odds are not in your favor, but you're not there yet.' "
Shepard also said he didn't hold back when his told daughters about his relapse last year.
"They knew when I relapsed," the dad of two said. "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 added.
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Shepard revealed he had relapsed after 16 years of sobriety on the Sep. 25 episode of his Armchair Expert podcast, in which explained that he used painkillers following a motorcycle accident. The episode was recorded on Sep. 21, when Shepard was seven days sober.
On his podcast, Shepard said he began purchasing his own pills after breaking his hand in an ATV accident and also suffering multiple injuries during a separate motorcycle accident last year. He then began lying to the people around him, which he said helped him realize that he needed to quit.
Shepard said on Tuesday's episode of 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 said. "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 added.
Looking back at his journey, Shepard said he feels "so good" now that he's found help.
"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 explained. "Today, at least, I feel better with six months than I had felt in 15 years."
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.