Dax Shepard is 7 days sober.
Yes, you read that right. If you know Dax Shepard, you probably know that he is and has always been a recovery “success story.” He’s been vocal about his drug and alcohol addiction, and up until recently, his 16 years of sobriety. Between his recovery, his success, and his beautiful family, including the talented Kristen Bell and their two children, he seemed to be living the fairy tale dreams-do-come-true sequence every person aspires to, and most of us in the sober community followed like a shining beacon of hope.
And yet, at just 7 days sober, Dax went onto his popular podcast this week and told his story.
How he had to reset his sobriety clock and start over.
He showed courage, expressed embarrassment, and showcased deep humility. He shared all of it, from prescriptions for his injuries where he worked with Kristen to monitor and keep his pills for him, to the painful slip downward. One secret, followed by a lie, followed by more . . . then more. The dark voice of addiction assuring him he’s OK. He’s in control. He can manage this. No one has to know.
It was hard to listen to. As a person who struggles with addiction, to hear Dax tell the slow descent of his relapse felt like watching a stranger slowly undress. I felt so uncomfortable. And not just because he was so open and raw, but because I could relate to all of it. The secrets. The head games. The hiding, hurting, and gaslighting.
I started shaking when he talked about his head telling him it was OK to do some things because they were prescribed by a doctor. It was OK to take more because he had a high tolerance. On and on, his story unraveled and I cried. I knew this story—his story was mine.
And if you’re a person who has struggled with addiction, his story probably resonates with you too. Because you can have everything—the most beautiful woman in Hollywood standing by your side, the “perfect” life, dream job, healthy kids . . . everything you wished for.
Addiction doesn’t care.
Addiction doesn’t discriminate. No money or education can keep you safe from it. No experience or history can secure you from relapse. And for those of us with addictive tendencies, it doesn’t matter if we are one or 1 thousand days sober. We are always one drink or one slip away from relapse.
I’m almost three years sober from alcohol and some days I get a little overconfident. I feel like I’ve made the changes, I’ve healed, and I’m “safe.” I know how to avoid triggers and remove myself from certain situations.
Dax reminded us that this is a daily process. It’s a daily choice. Dax reminds me that every day I get—and have to—choose how this is going to go. And every day that I choose sober, I am choosing life. I am choosing my family, my career, my health, and my future.
Thank you for reminding us of our humanity, Dax. Thank you for reminding us why recovery is worth it. Life is worth fighting for. Relapse is not the end. It’s the start of the next chapter. And the sober community is so very happy to see you again.
Dax, we are so glad you’re back.