"I did not want to at all," he told Ellen. "I had all kinds of bizarre fears, like I have sponsors on my show. Was that something that could cost me money financially?"
"But the number one thing I was afraid to lose was -- I get so much esteem out of being someone who's vocally sober," he continued. "And I have people who write me on month one or on week two, and I love that. That's my favorite thing about being in public, and so I was just terrified I would lose that. I really cherish that."
Shepard then admitted it was a friend who suggested how he could use the relapse as something positive.
“I have a good friend that said, 'You know, if your real goal is to help people, it's not very helpful that you're 16 years sober and married to Kristen Bell,'" Shepard said with a laugh. "That doesn’t help a ton of people. In fact, it probably makes their life worse. So the fact that you just fell, that's the actual value. That's the thing you could do that's helpful.'"
"And so when it was framed that way to me, it got a lot easier."
"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," he told them both. "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."
Bell echoed his sentiment, saying she too 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, is what saves you."
"Nobody saved you but you," she added. "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."