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Dennis Quaid on His ‘White Light Experience’ and How It Led Him to God

Dennis Quaid on His ‘White Light Experience’ and How It Led Him to God

Dennis Quaid is opening up about how faith has helped him overcome difficult seasons in life.

In an interview with PEOPLE, the 69-year-old actor shared that at the beginning of his career, he was battling severe addiction. He checked into rehab after having a “white light experience” one night.

“Addiction forces people to fill a hole inside us,” Quaid said. “And when you’re done with the addiction, you need something to fill that hole, something that really works, right?”

After finishing rehab in 1990, Quaid began reading the Bible and other religious texts. Through his journey, he found his way to God and Christianity.

“That’s when I started developing a personal relationship [with God],” he said. “Before that, I didn’t have one, even though I grew up as a Christian.”

Quaid clarified that struggling with addiction is a lifelong struggle, but leaning on God has helped him weather difficult seasons of life.

“It’s a struggle,” he said. “We’re all looking for the joy of life, and drugs give that to you and alcohol and whatever it is for anybody give that to you really quick. Then they’re fun and then they’re fun with problems, and then they’re just problems after a while. That’s really what we’re looking for, the joy of life, which is our gift, actually, the relationship with God that we all have. It’s at the bottom of it, the joy of being alive.

“And I’m grateful to still be here, I’m grateful to be alive really every day,” Quaid continued. “It’s important to really enjoy your ride in life as much as you can, because there’s a lot of challenges and stuff to knock it down.”

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