Dax Shepard Starts His Day Thinking About Addiction

Dax Shepard Starts His Day Thinking About Addiction

By Kelly Burch 03/21/19

"You’ve got to acknowledge you are an addict every day, first thing, right when you wake up," the actor said on a recent episode of his podcast. 

Image: 
Dax Shepard

For 12 years, actor Dax Shepard started his day by taking time to acknowledge that he is an addict. 

“You’ve got to acknowledge you are an addict every day, first thing, right when you wake up, you write a page,” Shepard told Gwyneth Paltrow on his Armchair Expert podcast. “It doesn’t even have to be about being an addict. It’s just this physical activity there to remind myself, ‘I have a thing that I’ll never not have.’”

The daily ritual cemented the Parenthood star's recovery. 

“I wrote a page in my journal every single morning because I had this thought that if I can’t commit 20 minutes to remember I’m an addict each morning, I’m going to end up blowing nine hours a day as an addict. I have to be able to say, minimally this is your commitment.”

Shepard, who is going on his 15th year of sobriety, said he has only recently relaxed the ritual. 

“In general, I’m embarrassed to admit this. For the very first 12 years of sobriety, I didn’t miss a single day, not one. I get crazy superstitious about it.”

Even though he has achieved long-term sobriety, Shepard said that he continues to grow in his confidence and self-love. 

“At a certain point, you’re like, ‘F**k it.’ I’m going to be who I am, I’m not going to look in the mirror and be so critical of everything, and I’m not going to rehash every mistake I’ve ever made in my life and flagellate myself for it. I really did feel when I turned 40 I could feel a real shift,” said the actor, who is 44. “I was like, ‘I’m not going to do that anymore.’ Because I was ruled by my insecurities, and like by the idea that I was unlovable, and I kept just trying to prove that out.”

Instead of fixating on his insecurities, Shepard now focuses on building his relationship with his wife, actress Kristen Bell, who has been supportive of his sobriety. Bell went on Instagram last year to celebrate the work that her husband puts into his recovery—both morning and night. 

“I know how much you loved using. I know how much it got in your way. And I know, because I saw, how hard you worked to live without it,” she wrote when Shepard celebrated 14 years sober.

“I will forever be in awe of your dedication, and the level of fierce moral inventory you perform on yourself, like an emotional surgery, every single night.”

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

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