Three months after revealing the roadblock in his 16-year sobriety journey, the Michigan native, 45, opened up about how sharing his story with the world was a major turning point. During the holiday episode of his “Armchair Expert” podcast on Monday, December 21, Shepard thanked the Good Place alum, 40, and his cohost, Monica Padman, for standing by his side.
“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,” the Parenthood alum said. “It saved my life.”
Bell echoed her husband’s sense of gratitude for Padman, who helped guide Shepard through the emotional revelation during a September episode of their podcast.
“I would like to thank all parties involved because I am so appreciative of being able to go through every flavor of emotion with Monica and also to have you, the father of my children, be so able to be honest, even at your most shameful moments,” she gushed. “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.”
Shepard and the Veronica Mars actress tied the knot in October 2013 and share two daughters: Lincoln, 7, and Delta, 5. After a series of challenging setbacks — including a motorcycle accident earlier this year — the Spin the Wheel host fell off the wagon and returned to misusing painkillers. He would have marked his 16th anniversary of being sober the same month he shared his story.
“I was high at the meeting having people tell me they admire my sobriety,” he recalled in September of attending a support group.
At the time of his revelation, Shepard was just seven days clean and told “Armchair Expert” listeners that he struggled to be honest with Bell about his pill use. A source later told Us Weekly exclusively that he kept his hardship hidden “because he felt so ashamed” and “didn’t want to hurt” his wife.
“Eventually, he couldn’t hide it from her any longer and he had to come clean,” the insider said in September. “She was nothing but supportive and there’s no blame or anger on her side – just love, care and determination to get through this together. … She’s beyond proud of him for turning his life around whilst openly addressing his demons head-on.”
While 2020 has come with its fair share of challenges, Shepard admitted on Monday that it hasn’t been all bad.
“I feel guilty saying this, but I still loved this year immensely,” he said on the podcast. “I loved this year. I had a great year. … Even with two surgeries and a relapse and shame spiral and all this stuff, still a great year for me.”
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