The Good Place actress broke her silence on the topic on Wednesday’s Ellen DeGeneres Show, saying she will “continue to stand by him” after he relapsed with pills, including Vicodin and Oxytocin, after 16 years of sobriety.
“He is actually doing really great,” Bell told DeGeneres. “I mean, look, everybody is up against their own demons. Sometimes it’s anxiety and depression,” which Bell suffers from. “Sometimes it’s substance abuse.”
She said the thing that she loves most about Dax, who she married in 2013, is that “he was able to tell me and tell us and say we need a different plan.”
Bell explained that they have a plan for administering medication to Shepard for his chronic pain from various motorcycle injuries, which he spoke about at length with his Armchair Expert podcast co-host Monica Padman when he revealed he relapsed on Sept. 25.
“If he has to take medication for any reason, I have to administer it,” Bell said of their conversation when Shepard admitted to the relapse. “He was like: ‘So we need a stronger plan. I was faltering. I have to do some emotional work to figure out why I wanted to use again.’”
Bell, who has two daughters with Shepard, went on to say, “One of the main reasons I love him is he’s also addicted to growth. He’s addicted to evolving. And he was like: ‘I don’t want to risk this family — and I did — so let’s put new things in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again.’”
She also shared that they started going to therapy together again and vowed, “I will continue to stand by him because he’s very, very worth it.”
It was on the Sept. 25 episode of Armchair Expert, called Day 7, that Shepard spoke about relapsing.
“So, today I have seven days,” he said during the episode, which was recorded Sept. 21.
The Bless This Mess star has spoken a lot of getting sober in 2004 after battling alcohol and cocaine addiction. However, on the episode, he admitted he started being “shady” in 2012 after a motorcycle accident left him in pain. At the time, he was given a prescription for Vicodin, which Bell was to administer. Then he visited his dying dad, also an addict, and they took Percocet together. He told Bell about the incident and moved on.
Then, about six months ago, Shepard injured his hand and was again prescribed pain pills. He said that led to him self-medicating. When his prescriptions ran out, he started “taking 30 mil” of Oxycotin — and it escalated to him taking eight pills a day.
He admitted that for the eight weeks before he got sober, he had been on pills “all day.”
And he said that while he had another motorcycle accident in August, which required surgery, “it would be unfair to say this all started with my recent surgeries, which is really hard to say.” He also admitted to celebrating his recent 16 year sobriety birthday “high,” calling it “the worst thing in the world.”
He also shared his side of coming clean about his problem to Bell and Padman, who had grown suspicious. (He said he tells both women everything.) He recalled how he gave them his remaining pills and said, “Please help me.”
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