The actor and podcast host has been open about his past struggles with substance abuse, and in September, he confessed to having relapsed in his sobriety journey after he began taking strong prescription painkillers following a motorcycle accident.
Dax admits he was scared to come forward about his slip-up at first, but was made to feel so comfortable by his wife Kristen Bell, as well as their friends, family, and fans.
Speaking to Kristen and his co-host Monica Padman on his Armchair Expert podcast’s holiday special, he said: “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. 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.”
Kristen then insisted Dax “saved” himself without the help of anyone else, because he came forward to face his relapse head on.
She told him: “Nobody saved you but you, and 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. I think we did a really good job, team.
“I feel really grateful and honored that you felt you could trust me. I feel grateful that I was allowed in to the inner circle.”
Elsewhere in their conversation, the Chips star insisted that despite the COVID-19 crisis and his sobriety mishap, 2020 has been a “great year” for him, although he feels “guilty” about admitting so because he’s aware so many others are struggling.
He said: “I feel guilty saying this, but I still loved this year immensely. I loved this year. I had a great year. I’m saying though even with two surgeries and a relapse and shame spiral and all this stuff, still a great year for me.”
“I think we’re very lucky to say that,” acknowledged Kristen, “because we’re not out of work and we’re not looking at eviction and we’re not struggling to put food on the table.”