Matthew Perry is willing to be open and honest about his life. The 53-year-old Friends actor, who is well-known for playing Chandler Bing on the popular TV show, has written a heartbreakingly beautiful memoir titled Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, which will be released on November 1. It describes his journey, which was marked by both incredible highs and heartbreaking lows.
In this week’s cover story, he exclusively reveals, “I wanted to share when I was secure from slipping into the dark side of things again.” “To write it all down, I had to wait until I was somewhat comfortably sober and free from the active disease of alcoholism and addiction. The key thing was that I had a good feeling that it will benefit others.” Perry’s autobiography begins with the admission that he nearly passed away at age 49 a few years ago.
The actor publicly admitted at the time that he had a gastrointestinal perforation, but he actually had to struggle for his life for weeks after his colon ruptured due to a narcotic overdose. He needed to use a colostomy bag for nine months, spent two weeks in a coma, and spent five months in the hospital.
He recounts that when he was initially sent to the hospital, “the doctors told my family that I had a 2% chance to live.” “I was placed on a device known as an ECMO machine, which manages your heart and lungs’ breathing for you. That is referred to be a Hail Mary. Nobody gets through that.”
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At age 24, Perry had just begun to show signs of alcoholism when he was originally cast on Friends. “I could kind of manage it. But when I was 34, I was deeply mired in a lot of difficulties “He concedes. “However, I did stay sober for some of that time. I remained sober the entire ninth season since it was that year. And guess for which season I was the best actor nominee? That should tell me anything, I thought.”
Perry’s reign on Friends reached a terrible low point when he was taking 55 Vicodin per day and weighing just 128 pounds. He said, “I didn’t know how to stop.” “I would begin packing if the police showed up at my house and threatened to put me in jail if I drank tonight. Because the illness and addiction are progressive, I was unable to stop. As a result, as you age, it only becomes worse.”
Even though Perry made an effort to conceal his status, the striking variations in his look each year revealed his level of sobriety. He continues, “Their cast mates were understanding, and they were patient.” “Similar to penguins, In the wild, penguins will surround and support each other when they are ill or severely injured. Up until the penguin can stand on its own, they proceed around it. The cast essentially did that for me.”
Perry is open about his relapses and is knowledgeable about the methods needed to keep sobriety; he has visited a rehab facility 15 times over the years. “I have to stop going to the gym as frequently now that I’m in pretty good shape because I don’t want to be limited to playing superheroes,” he jokes. But no, I’m actually in fairly good health right now.”
He still keeps track of each day even if he prefers not to say how long he has been sober right now. He argues, “It’s vital, but losing your sobriety doesn’t always mean you lose all that time and education.” “The only thing that changes are your sober date; nothing else. As long as you managed to battle your way back without dying, you retain all you previously knew.”
He had 14 surgeries on his stomach so far, leaving him with scars as well. He remarks, “That’s a lot of reminders to be sober.” “I only have to glance down,” I said. What motivated him to quit using drugs?” The next time you consider using Oxycontin, consider having a colostomy bag for the rest of your life, said my therapist “Perry cites. I slid through a small window that then opened, saying, “I no longer want Oxycontin.”
Perry is now more determined than ever to attempt and aid those who have also battled addiction. He claims that out of the five patients who were placed on an ECMO machine that night, only he survived. “So, the crucial query is: Why? Why was I selected? There must be a motive of some kind.”
“I think they’ll be startled at how awful it became at some moments and how close to death I came,” he adds of those who read the book. “In the book, I assert that, even though it wouldn’t surprise anyone, my death would shock people. And having to live with that is a pretty scary thing. My aim is that through reading it, people would understand that this sickness affects everyone. Success or failure doesn’t matter; the illness doesn’t give a damn.”
In terms of thankfulness, Perry has discovered “First and foremost is sobriety. My sobriety ranks right up there because, without it, you’ll lose all you’ve worked so hard to achieve “He claims. “I’m a very appreciative person. I’m glad to be alive, that much is certain. And that gives me the freedom to do whatever I want.”
Perry claims that despite the journey’s extremely dark moments, it has made him stronger “in every aspect.” “My tenacity has shocked me the most. how I can recover from this dreadful and torturous experience. I didn’t leave anything out because I wanted to share the narrative, even if it can be unsettling to reveal all of your secrets in print. There is everything there.”