How Dax Shepard And Kristen Bell Told Daughters About His Relapse, Attending AA Meetings

When he went to an AA meeting, one of his daughters told him, “I’m gonna be an alcoholic” so she could go too.

Dax Shepard’s openness on his substance abuse issues aren’t limited to his open book podcast, but something he shares with his whole family — including his two young daughters with wife Kristen Bell.

The actor, who has been very frank about his struggles as an alcoholic and drug addict in the past, gave even more insight into his journey during an appearance on Chelsea Clinton’s In Fact podcast this week.

Dax Shepard Recalls How He Relapsed After 16 Years of Sobriety

Shepard recently relapsed after 16 years of sobriety, when he started going overboard on painkillers and hiding it from his family following a pair of off-roading and motorcycle accidents.

It’s something he and Bell didn’t hide from their kids; Delta, 6, and Lincoln, 8.

“They knew when I relapsed, 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,'” he told Clinton. “Yeah, we tell them the whole thing.”

He also revealed a more light-hearted story about how he talked to one of his daughter’s about attending AA meetings.

“They know that dad goes to an AA meeting every Tuesday and Thursday. One of the cuter moments was, I wanna say my oldest daughter was three, 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,'” he began. “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?’ I said, ‘Well, no, you got to be an alcoholic.’ And she goes, ‘I’m gonna be an alcoholic,'” he said, with a laugh. “I said, ‘You might become one. The odds are not in your favor, but you’re not there yet.'”

Kristen Bell Opens Up About Standing By Dax Shepard After Latest Relapse

Speaking more about his relapse, Shepard said when he started abusing painkillers again, he felt like he was “gaslighting” his family. After he finally told his wife and Armchair Expert cohost Monica Padman what was really going on, he then had to come clean with his support group as well.

“I had to go to my f—ing meeting I’ve been going to for 16 years … it was terrible,” he said. “Weirdly, it was terrible leading up to it, because I had built this whole identity in my head around having 16 years. I loved having 16 years. I was holding onto that so much, I was really scared of not having that.”

He told Clinton that he’s “so good” now and feels like he got a “second chance to confront all these things that had been building up” over the years. “Today at least, I feel better with 6 months [sobriety] than I felt at 15 years.”

When Clinton also brought up how she tells her kids how important it is to be “brave and kind,” Shepard also shared one final interesting anecdote about his family.

“I can say from experience, I’ve got in physical altercations in my wife’s defense. The amount of bravery that took for me, that was a 4,” he said. “And me telling her that I’m afraid she likes her career more than she likes me, was a 9 for me. That’s so much harder for me to do than to fight a guy in her defense.”

Kristen Bell 'Wasn't Thrilled' About Dax Shepard's Van Mural And Its Lack of 'Female Empowerment'

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