Dax Shepard says feeling loved after revealing relapse saved his life

Alyssa Newcomb

When Dax Shepard revealed he relapsed with painkillers this year, he said it was the unconditional love of people around him that ultimately saved his life.

The "Chips" star first opened up about his relapse in September, around the same time as what would have been his 16th anniversary being sober. As the year comes to a close, Shepard thanked two women who helped support him in recovery, his wife, Kristen Bell, and his "Armchair Expert"podcast co-host, Monica Padman.

"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 on the "Holiday Spectacular 2020" episode of the podcast. "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."

"It saved my life," he added.

Bell praised her husband for having the courage to share he had a problem and get help.

"I would like to thank all parties involved because I am so appreciative of being able to go through every flavor of emotion with Monica and also to have you, the father of my children, be so able to be honest, even at your most shameful moments — is what saves you," Bell said.

"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," she said. "I think we did a really good job, team."

Shepard first expressed his gratitude to fans in September after he opened up about his struggle.

"My fears were the opposite of what the result was," said Shepard, who added he was "struggling with some fraudulent feelings of receiving love based on a f---up. But at any rate, I am really, really grateful and there’s so many beautiful, nice people."

While the pandemic has made it a tough year for everyone, Shepard struck an optimistic tone about 2020.

"I feel guilty saying this, but I still loved this year immensely," he said. "I loved this year. I had a great year."