Dax Shepard Reveals How He Explained Addiction & Relapse To His Daughters

Dax Shepard always keeps it real — even with his young daughters.

The Parenthood alum and his wife Kristen Bell are historically very open about how they parent their daughters Lincoln (8) and Delta (6). They’re also open about pretty much everything else, too, including their marriage and the actor’s addiction. Not only are those topics they share with the world, they share it with their kids as well.

On a recent episode of Chelsea Clinton‘s podcast In Fact, she asked Dax how he speaks to his daughters about his addiction issues. He replied:

“Just like I’m talking to you.”

The 46-year-old added:

“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 3 — back when my daughters really wanted to be with me 24 hours a day — and she said, ‘Where are you going?’ And I said, ‘Well, I’m going to AA,” Shepard recalled. “She said, ‘Why do you have to go?’ I go, ‘Because I’m an alcoholic. If I don’t go there then I’ll drink and I’ll be a terrible dad.’ And she said, ‘Can I go?’ And I said, ‘Well, no, you gotta be an alcoholic.’ And she goes, ‘I’m gonna be an alcoholic.’ And I said, ‘You know, you might become one. The odds are not in your favor. But you’re not there yet.’

LOLz. Never to early for a kid to develop a dark sense of humor!

But seriously, this kind of honesty with your children is so valuable. The Armchair Expert host also revealed:

“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.’ … Yeah, we tell them the whole thing.”

Regarding the relapse, which the father of two revealed on his own podcast last fall, he reflected:

“The opiate thing was very misleading because I was still doing everything I was supposed to do. I was still interviewing people, it was going well, I was still playing with my kids, putting them to bed, waking them up, doing the dad stuff. And I just generally was cruising through life without any unmanageability other than the terrible aspect of opiates is your tolerance is going up daily.”

Dax admitted:

“I had to go to my f**king meeting I’ve been going to for 16 years… It was terrible. 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 loved talking about it on the podcast. I loved that people who had messaged me … say, ‘I’m on three.’ I loved being inspirational to people for sobriety. And 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, for a couple months. … Eventually, I couldn’t do it and I had to tell on myself.”

Despite his major fears, Shepard shared:

“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. Today, at least, I feel better with six months than I had felt in 15 years.”

Wow. In our opinion, Dax’s story is still pretty inspirational — maybe even more so than it was before! We always appreciate him sharing his experiences with us.

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