The Friends star Matthew Perry claims his drug-induced intestinal rupture put him on the verge of death.
In a new book, the 53-year-old actor who portrayed the witty and sardonic Chandler Bing on the well-known US comedy has spoken up about the character as well as the drug and alcohol issues that have blighted his career.
Perry explained in an interview with People magazine that he postponed disclosing the extent of his addiction until now because he wanted to be “protected from sliding into the dark side of things again.”
His book, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, begins with the admission that he nearly passed away at the age of 49 a few years ago, according to a US site.
He spent two weeks in a coma, five months in the hospital, and nine months with a colostomy bag when his colon burst due to narcotic misuse.
The physicians informed my family that I only had a 2% chance of living, he added.
“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 over that.
Five people were placed on Ecmo machines that evening, according to Perry, and only he survived, leading him to wonder why he was the one.
He claimed that when he was 24 years old and initially cast on Friends, his alcoholism became apparent.
He was “entrenched in a lot of difficulty” by the show’s tenth season’s finale.
He said that he had been sober for some of the years he had been filming, and that his coworkers had been “understanding” and “patient” with him throughout those trying times.
Like penguins, I say. In the wild, other penguins would gather and support sick or severely injured penguins, he explained.
“They walk around it until that penguin can walk on its own. That’s kind of what the cast did for me.”
Friends ran from 1994 to 2004. At one point, Perry said he was using 55 Vicodin pills day and had dropped to 128 lb (just over nine stone).
I didn’t know how to quit, he said. I would begin packing if the cops showed up at my house and threatened to put me in jail if I drank tonight.
Because the illness and addiction are chronic, they only become worse as you age, thus I was unable to stop.
Perry claims that after 15 treatment stays and counselling sessions, he is now “quite well” and driven to assist those who are battling addiction.
He asserts that “everything starts with sobriety,” adding that “my sobriety is right up there” because without it, you’ll lose everything you put in front of it.
“I’m a really appreciative man. I’m glad to be alive, that much is certain. And that allows me the freedom to act whatever I like.
Beginning November 1, Friends, Lovers, And The Big Terrible Thing will be obtainable.