In the darkest days of his addiction to alcohol and pills, Matthew Perry credits Friends with saving his life. However, an intervention held by the cast of Friends during his struggles was “not going to work” in getting him sober.

Elizabeth Vargas, the host of the podcast Heart of the Matter for Partnership to End Addiction, sat down with the actor, who is 53 years old and has written a memoir titled Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, which is currently at the top of the bestseller list. The actor discussed his recovery on the podcast.

Perry, who had his first drink at the age of 14 and was already struggling when he landed Friends in 1994, said he “stifled the drinking a little bit when I got that job because for the whole time I was like, ‘You can’t screw this up. This is the best job in the world.’… And the job saved my life in many ways. But… I was drinking every night.” He checked himself into rehab for the first time at the age of 27, “because I weighed

Jennifer Aniston, one of his co-stars and friends, confronted him about his drinking by pointing out that everyone could smell it on him. He let Vargas know that she was not the only one affected by it.

Perry disclosed that Lisa Kudrow had also shared her thoughts on the matter. After that, intervention took place “at one point, everybody was in my dressing room after a run-through that I had been really shaky in.” In response to the effort that was made with good intentions, he stated, “But that’s not going to work.” If there is an intervention, the only thing you have to do to end intervention is just say: ‘No. No, get out of my house.’ And then it’s over. If you have a professional, somebody who does this for a living, and an interventionist and a plane waiting and then you go to rehab, that’s the way to do it. But 50 people said, ‘You should quit drinking.’

Perry recalls going home and drinking after Jennifer Aniston confronted him in private for the first time about his addiction to alcohol. He said, “I couldn’t stop,” and I believe him. Perry described Aniston as a “wonderful lady,” and her continuing efforts to assist him are evidence of this description. In addition to that, she utilized tough love. “When I came back from rehab the second time, she remarked, ‘I’ve been extremely upset with you.'” This was due to the fact that his addiction had “placed the show in peril.” Perry recounted his response, which was something along the lines of, “Honey, if you understood what I’ve been through, you would not be furious at me.” But she had no idea — and why would she? — what I had to go through in order to be sober at that time.

Perry says that getting sober cost him nine million dollars. He has gone to 65 detox centers. During the time that he was working on Friends, the program that paid him $1.14 million per episode in the show’s final years, he would steal pills from real estate open houses in order to satisfy his habit of taking 55 Vicodin pills every day. Following an explosion of his colon brought on by Oxycontin usage, he was given a 2% chance of survival at one point. Even after that, he had another near-lossexperience, this time during surgery, when his heart stopped beating for five minutes.

While chatting to Vargas, who is also recovering from alcoholism, Perry repeated that addiction “is a sickness.” Vargas is also in recovery from alcoholism. He stated that realizing that it is in fact a disease was a turning point in his rehabilitation and that realizing this benefited him.

It was during this time that he recalled that he was taking 55 Vicodin per day and that “I was very thin, really unwell.” “And they placed me in this office with a person of the religious persuasion. I’m not entirely sure what he was doing, but he was communicating with me… And the very last thing that he said to me was, ‘And it’s not your fault.’ Then I was like, “What? Say that again?’ And he said, “It’s not your fault… It’s not my fault.” You are suffering from an illness.’ I mean, I have no idea how to explain to you what the significance of that is to me. I was unaware of it. I just assumed that I was a weak person who need this stuff even though other people did not require it. Then I began to understand that it was a sickness, and I was so relieved to find out that it was a disease.

And unfortunately, Perry’s entire family has a history of the illness. He mentioned that his father, the actor John Bennett Perry, had similar difficulties. However, their paths to addiction were completely distinct from one another.

“Pretty much everything I know about drinking I got from my dad,” Perry remarked. “He would drink somewhere in the neighborhood of five vodka tonics before bringing the sixth one into bed with him. On the other hand, he never failed to get up at seven in the morning and report to work. He was an alcoholic, but he was very good at hiding it.

It was like someone flipped a switch when he gave up drinking.

“One night he had one too many drinks, and he fell through a bush or something along those lines, and the next day his wife said, ‘Do you really want to keep living this way?'” And he went for a walk to think about his predicament before deciding to give up drinking “that same day.” I’ve been to 6,000 AA meetings. I’ve been to 14 treatment clinics. I’ve spent time in a hospital for the mentally ill. And you gave up smoking by going for a walk?” he asked incredulously.

At this point, Perry has been sober for 18 months. “I couldn’t write this book until I was really strong in my sobriety, which I am now,” he said, “and I’m only now getting to that point.” “And for that, I am extremely grateful.

By Anna

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