Matthew Perry Is Opening Up
Matthew Perry Releases “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing” on November 1, and before it drops he is sharing a few things that are also a bit of a warning to the faint of heart. He admits that it took him this long to write the book because he wasn’t even this safe.
“I wanted to share when I was safe from going into the dark side of everything again,” he shared with PEOPLE magazine
“I had to wait until I was pretty safely sober — and away from the active disease of alcoholism and addiction — to write it all down. And the main thing was, I was pretty certain that it would help people.”
Matthew Perry Almost Died
The Friends actor revealed that at age 49, he almost died. At the time, he shared with the public that he had a gastrointestinal perforation and spent weeks in an extremely rough recovery. The actor’s colon burst from opioid abuse.
He was in a coma for two weeks and an overall five months in the hospital. In the aftermath, he had to use a colostomy bag for almost a year.
“The doctors told my family that I had a 2 percent chance to live,” remembers the actor. “I was put on a thing called an ECMO machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and your lungs. And that’s called a Hail Mary. No one survives that.”
Matthew Perry’s Addictions Were Decades In The Making
Perry, also shared that his addictions were always present in his adult life, noting that even on the set of Friends at 24, he was drinking more than the average person. “I could handle it, kind of. But by the time I was 34, I was really entrenched in a lot of trouble.”
He wasn’t always in the throws of addictions though. “But there were years that I was sober during that time. Season 9 was the year that I was sober the whole way through. And guess which season I got nominated for best actor? I was like, ‘That should tell me something.’”
Matthew Perry Took ’55 Vicodin A Day’
The actor admitted that at one point, he was shockingly taking 55 Vicodin a day. “I didn’t know how to stop,” he said, pointing out that at the time he was 128 pounds. He was so deep in addiction that he admits he would run from the police if need be.
“If the police came over to my house and said, ‘If you drink tonight, we’re going to take you to jail,’ I’d start packing. I couldn’t stop because the disease and the addiction is progressive. So it gets worse and worse as you grow older.”
For the most part, Perry would hide his addiction and troubles but his cast members Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Courtney Cox, and Matt LeBlanc, who were like family at this point could see the changes.
He says they “were understanding, and they were patient,” and walking around “like penguins” to avoid the elephant in the room. He has gone to rehab 15 times and now he is happy that something is finally working for him.
He is motivated by family, friends, and the “tools necessary” to keep him sober.