Dax Shepard is getting honest about a very personal subject.
On Monday, Shepard returned to the show, expressing his gratitude to fans for their support.
“Just quickly, I want to say thanks to all the people that have been so unbelievably lovely to us in response to ‘Day 7,'” he said.
When his co-host Monica Padman said that she hoped he “felt loved and supported,” Shepard said, “My fears were the opposite of what the result was, yeah. But yeah, struggling with some fraudulent feelings of receiving love based on a f**kup. But, at any rate, I am really, really grateful, and there’s so many beautiful, nice people.”
The actor also added that despite some speculation, he was not high when he shaved his head last month.
“A lot of people said, ‘I could see you were high as a kite,'” he said. “I actually was not. I was having a metamorphosis, transitional—I wanted to make a physical statement that I was shedding something.”
In last week’s episode, Shepard went into candid detail about his experiences with addiction, his recent relapse and how he came clean to his friends and family.
“Eight years into sobriety, I had not done a single shady thing,” he said. “I hadn’t done anything grey.”
Shepard continued, “I immediately called my sponsor, and I said, ‘I’m in a ton of pain and I gotta work all day. And we have friends that have Vicodin.’ He said, ‘Okay, you can take a couple Vicodin to get through the day of work, but you have to go to the doctor, and you have to get a prescription, and then you have to have Kristen [Bell] dole out the prescription.'”
While the actor followed his sponsor’s guidance, he ended up taking things too far while visiting his father, who was being treated for cancer at the time.
“You know, we had so little in common and so much f**king friction,” he recalled. “But the No. 1 thing we had in common was we were both f**king addicts and we had never used anything together. And we sat there stoned and looked at the lake. And in that moment, I felt elation and I was just happy.”
He later admitted to Bell that he had relapsed, and she got him to call Alcoholics Anonymous.
“That was eight years ago,” Shepard said. “I’ve now had this experience where I did that, I felt bad, but there wasn’t any fallout from it. It was like, I felt bad, I said I felt bad, and then I did just move on and it was fine.”
But that wasn’t the end of it. According to Shepard, about six months ago he found himself getting “shadier,” rewarding himself with a Vicodin or two at the end of the day. “I feel I’m entitled to take two Vicodin at the end of the day because I am in pain. That again doesn’t feel that crazy,” he explained.
“For the last eight weeks maybe, I don’t know…I’m on them all day. I’m allowed to be on them at some dosage because I have a prescription,” he explained. “And then I’m also augmenting that. And then all the prescriptions run out and I’m now just taking 30 mil Oxys that I’ve bought whenever I decide I can do [it].”
At one point, Padman, confronted him about his drug use, but he lied to her.
“And I’m lying to other people and I know I have to quit,” Shepard recalled. “But my tolerance is going up so quickly that I’m now in a situation where I’m taking, you know, eight 30s a day, and I know that’s an amount that’s going to result in a pretty bad withdrawal. And I start getting really scared, and I’m starting to feel really lonely. And I just have this enormous secret.”
About two weeks ago, Shepard finally confessed to Padman what was going on.
“I’m gaslighting you and I know I am,” he told he. “And I’m making you feel crazy and I’m making Kristen feel crazy.”
He then called Padman and Bell together to apologize and ask for help.
“My fear was that if I have one day, I’m going to drink and I’m going to do coke,” he said. “I haven’t drank a beer in 16 years and I haven’t snorted a line in 16 years. And if I have one day, then I might as well f**king have what I really want and then start over. And my fear of that is if I do that, it may take me three years to get that back in the cage and I may die.”
Shepard continued, “I just know what I’m like on those two things,” he admitted. “And again, it’s very hard for me to know what part of this is, like, my addiction and what great stories I tell myself of reasons why I can’t just be f**king humble and say I failed. I think I have a very legitimate fear that I would drink. And also I think my addiction is smart enough to say you can’t do that or you’ll drink.”
Describing going to addiction meetings, he said, “I cop to a lot of it. I basically cop to getting a couple of prescriptions that Kristen didn’t know about, which again is not the full story.”
Finally, in another meeting, at which point he’d been sober for 24 hours, Shepard told everyone the full truth.
“It turned into the most incredible, like, 90 minutes I’ve ever experienced, where there was just so much love and so much understanding and kindness and unconditional love,” he said. “There’s probably been many others, but it’s the only experience I can remember having that was just grace, the definition of grace. And it was very emotional. It was a really, really surreal kind of experience.”
Getting everything out in the open and seeking help has given Shepard more optimism for the first time in a long time.
“For… a long time, I’ve known intellectually that things are going to get worse,” he said. “That each encounter with it had gotten more shady and more dangerous and I recognize that the next go-around would be, ‘Oh I can’t get pills. Let’s snort heroin.’ And you know, I’ve had a lot of friends that I’ve watched go through this whole cycle, and I finally have the humility to say I will not be any different. I won’t be special. I won’t be smarter. I will be exactly like everyone else.”