Friends star Mathew Perry openly talked up about his 2018 drug addiction struggles which left him in a coma with only a tiny chance of survival.
Mathew Perry talks about drug abuse and addiction struggles in his new memoir: “The doctors told my family that I had a 2 percent chance to live”
According to People, the actor behind beloved Chandler Bing has written a heartbreakingly beautiful memoir, ‘Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing’ (available Nov. 1), detailing his journey — one filled with incredible highs and shattering lows. “I wanted to share when I was safe from going into the dark side of everything again,” he told People.
“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.” Perry went on to share how he struggled with his drug addiction which became so severe that he “nearly died” a few years ago at age 49.
While at the time he publicly acknowledged that he suffered a “gastrointestinal perforation,” he now admits that he spent two weeks in a coma and five months in the hospital and had to use a colostomy bag for nine months to treat the health crisis.
When he was first admitted to the hospital, “the doctors told my family that I had a 2 percent chance to live,” he recalled. “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.”
As the report shares, when Perry was first cast on Friends at age 24, his alcohol addiction was just starting to surface. “I could handle it, kind of. But by the time I was 34, I was really entrenched in a lot of trouble,” he admitted. “But there were years that I was sober during that time.”
He added, “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.'” At one of his lowest points during his time with Friends, Perry was taking 55 Vicodin a day and was down to 128 pounds.
“I didn’t know how to stop,” he said. “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.”
Speaking of how his co-stars Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, and Matt LeBlanc were all understanding and patient with him, he shared, “It’s like penguins. Penguins, in nature, when one is sick, or when one is very injured, the other penguins surround it and prop it up. They walk around it until that penguin can walk on its own. That’s kind of what the cast did for me.”
“I’m pretty healthy now,” Perry who is now 53 said of his health before adding, “I’ve got to not go to the gym much more, because I don’t want to only be able to play superheroes. But no, I’m a pretty healthy guy right now.” While he prefers not to disclose how long he’s currently been sober, he does still count each day.
“It’s important, but if you lose your sobriety, it doesn’t mean you lose all that time and education,” he says. “Your sober date changes, but that’s all that changes. You know everything you knew before, as long as you were able to fight your way back without dying, you learn a lot.”
Mathew Perry’s memoir ‘Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing’ comes out November 1.
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