Matthew Perry is here to share his journey to sobriety in his upcoming memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing.
The 53-year-old Friends alum detailed his personal battle with addiction, including a near-death experience he had in the past. According to him, he had surgery in 2018 in L.A. after suffering from gastrointestinal perforation. Fans were aware of his surgery then but what they didn’t know was that he almost died.
According to his cover story on People, his colon burst from opioid overuse. He was in a coma for two weeks and stayed in the hospital for five months. He also used a colostomy bag for nine months.
He shared with the magazine, “The doctors told my family that I had a 2 percent chance to live. 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.”
He also revealed that he had alcohol addiction after he was cast as Chandler Bing in Friends when he was just 24. He recalled, “I could handle it, kind of. But by the time I was 34, I was really entrenched in a lot of trouble.”
That time there were years when he was sober. He said, “Season nine 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.'”
However, the actor had trouble keeping himself sober and there was a time on Friends that he took 55 Vicodin daily. He had been to rehab 15 times over the years and is now sober. He’s sharing his journey in his memoir which will be released on November 1.
“I think they’ll be surprised at how bad it got at certain times and how close to dying I came,” Perry said. “I say in the book that if I did die, it would shock people, but it wouldn’t surprise anybody. And that’s a very scary thing to be living with. So my hope is that people will relate to it, and know that this disease attacks everybody. It doesn’t matter if you’re successful or not successful, the disease doesn’t care.”
He added, “I’m an extremely grateful guy. I’m grateful to be alive, that’s for sure. And that gives me the possibility to do anything.”