"There's a couple of common fallacies about sobriety," Shepard said during an episode of Off Camera With Sam Jones in 2019. "One being that people hit a bottom and then that's that. Most addicts have many bottoms. I mean, I had many events that were even worse than the one that ended up being my last event."
Shepard then spoke about a few of these moments, including one in which he went on vacation, was "hammered and doing drugs the whole time" and then went to the airport bar."I had this moment where I kind of take stock of my life," he said. "I am about to star in this movie, Zathura; they're paying me a ton of money; people recognize me at the airport. I'm doing everything I had dreamt of doing for 30 years. It all came true, and I'm the least happy I've ever been in my life. I'm closest to not wanting to be alive as I've ever been, and I had every single thing on paper that I'd ever wanted. I feel grateful for this because I was able to say, 'Something much more profound is broken.'"
"I just loved to get f---ed-up—drinking, cocaine, opiates, marijuana, diet pills, pain pills, everything," he told Playboy in 2012. "Mostly my love was Jack Daniel's and cocaine. I lived for going down the rabbit hole of meeting weird people. Of course, come Monday I would be tallying up all the different situations, and each one was progressively more dangerous. I got lucky in that I didn't go to jail."
"I wouldn't have a family without sobriety first and foremost," he said during an episode of People's Party With Talib Kweli. "Bell would've never signed up for the old version of me."
During a 2019 Goop interview with Gwyneth Paltrow, Shepard said he wrote a page in his journal every single day for the first 12 years of his sobriety and that he was "crazy superstitious about it."
"I had this thought that if I can't commit 20 minutes to remembering I'm an addict each morning, I'm going to end up blowing nine hours a day as an addict," he admitted. "I have to be able to say, minimally, this is your commitment. You've got to acknowledge you're an addict every day, first thing, right when you wake up, you write a page. 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.'"
During a 2019 interview with People, Shepard said Bell "spoils the hell out" of him on his sober birthdays, which typically fall in early September.
"The nicest presents she's gotten me are always on my sober birthday," he told the magazine. "In fact, my real birthday … still haven't gotten a present!"
As the Frozen star put it, "I'm very happy he was born so I celebrate his birthday, but I'm extraordinarily [happy] that he has stayed sober because that's what allows me to have him in my life as a husband and as a father."
"As a rule of thumb, like, I believe in gravity," he said during a 2019 Armchair Expert podcast interview with Pete Holmes. "I don't believe people think their ways into acting different. I think they act their ways into thinking different. So, a program for quitting alcohol that doesn't involve some action, I have a low expectation for. Now, it does work for people and I would never tell someone it's not working for them. But just in general, the thing I like about AA is it's not abstract: Here's what you do; write this list; call this person; be available to this guy; take that person to a meeting. You can't wake up one morning because you're so demoralized from the night before and decide, 'I'm going to permanently remember that I felt this demoralized in six years and this will be sustainable.' For me, at least, I will forget six years later what it felt like. But if I have actions that are a part of my regular muscle memory and routine, those things will do the lifting for me."