Matthew Perry, the talented actor who portrays Chandler Bing on Friends, reveals the secrets of his three decades of addiction struggles in his upcoming memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing. With incredible highs and shattering lows, he has written a heartbreakingly beautiful journey in his memoir. In an exclusive interview with People, he said his Friends castmates provided a beacon of hope for him during the dark times when he was addicted to drugs.

There was a time when Matthew Perry’s addiction struggles became so severe that he “nearly died” a few years ago at the age of 49 when his colon burst from chronic opioid use.

Friends alum claimed he suffered a “gastrointestinal perforation” at the time of his health scare but now admits that he spent two weeks in a coma, five months in the hospital, and had to use a colostomy bag for nine months.

Matthew Perry
Friends Star Matthew Perry

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Matthew Perry Opens Up About His ‘Nearly-Death’ Experience

American-Canadian actor Matthew Perry, 53, played the most notable role as Chandler Bing on the NBC television sitcom Friends, which ran from 1994 to 2004. According to Perry, he was fighting for his life in a hospital over his drug addiction and almost died from it.

The Friends star’s new memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, will be released on Nov. 1.

In an exclusive interview, Perry told PEOPLE, “I wanted to share when I was safe from going into the dark side of everything again.” 

He added, 

“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
Matthew Perry (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)

Perry opened up his memoir by describing how he almost died a few years ago at age 49. Despite publicly admitting he suffered a gastrointestinal perforation, the actor spent weeks trying to save his life after his colon burst due to opioid overuse. In addition to spending two weeks in a coma and five months in the hospital, he had to use a colostomy bag for nine months.

He remembered during the interview that when he was first admitted to the hospital, “the doctors told my family that I had a 2 percent chance to live.”

Also, he added, 

“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.”

Perry’s alcohol addiction began to surface when he was cast on Friends at 24. A frightening point during Perry’s Friend’s reign was when he took 55 Vicodin a day and weighed 128 pounds. Despite Perry’s attempts to hide his condition, the dramatic changes in his appearance each year revealed his sobriety.

Perry has faced many relapses over the years; he has been to rehab 15 times and undergone 14 surgeries on his stomach, but he is confident in his health now.

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Matthew Perry Is More Determined Now To Help Others

NBC television sitcom Friends

Matthew Perry’s determination to help others with addiction is apparently stronger than ever. He shared his thrilled situation during his treatment and said, 

“There were five people put on an ECMO machine that night and the other four died and I survived.”

And he asked himself during that situation, “So the big question is why? Why was I the one? There has to be some kind of reason.”

Matthew Perry hopes people will relate to his memoir and know that this disease attacks everyone, regardless of how successful or not you are. However, Perry’s journey has been incredibly dark at times, it has made him stronger, and others can get inspired by his story as it is filled with hope.

Also Read: FRIENDS Star Matthew Perry Reveals He Fell Hard For Co-Star Courteney Cox, Fans Point Out He Has Dated Her Doppelgangers

Source: People

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