New York Times journalist David Carr died last week at the age of 58, leaving behind a legacy both in his writing and his conversations about addiction recovery. Carr was a respected journalist who battled addiction for much of his life. He spoke openly about these struggles in his book, “The Night of the Gun: A Reporter Investigates the Darkest Story of His Life. His Own,” which was published in 2009.
Carr’s book details the years he spent using crack and abusing alcohol, as well as how he found the strength to finally succeed in recovery. In his book, Carr admitted that religion was essential to his rehabilitation from drugs and responsible for the complete change in his life. “It was hard to avoid a spiritual dimension in my own recovery,” he wrote. He said he felt compelled by a force greater than himself to act in ways that allowed him to give up his drugs and alcohol.
In 2011, Carr was interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR’s “Fresh Air.” During the interview, Carr talked openly about how religion impacted the way he viewed himself and allowed him to let go of his addiction. He said his faith helped to “relieve me of the bondage of self” and focus on living for his higher power.
Carr, who called himself a “churchgoing Catholic,” was also a strong proponent for the church getting involved in the recovery process. He believed that the church could provide support and encouragement in various ways to addicts. “The Church can do more than mitigate the gravest of these problems,” he wrote. “In my opinion, by demonstrating a willingness to minister to those afflicted with this disease, the Church becomes better. The unconditional love of the Church could possibly mean the difference between somebody living or dying.”
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