Matthew Perry bluntly described his numbness from his addiction in his explosive memoir ‘Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing’, released last week, as feeling ‘dead inside’.
He recalled the “Friends” finale, poignantly named “The Last One,” when the iconic group of six were in Monica Geller’s apartment for the very last time. She and Chandler Bing, played by Perry, had their baby twins in tow, and the actors came together for an emotional group hug before putting their keys on the counter and closing the door.
“It was January 23, 2004,” Perry wrote in his intimate memoir. “Keys on the counter, a guy who looked a lot like Chandler Bing said, ‘Where?’ ”
Throughout the popular sitcom, Perry played Bing, a never serious prankster character for which he is perhaps best known.
“Jefferson Airplane’s ‘Embryonic Journey’ played, the camera turned to the back of the apartment door, and then Ben, our first AD and a very close friend, shouted for the last time, ‘C ‘is over’, and tears welled up from almost everyone’s eyes like so many geysers,” he continued.
Unlike her co-stars, Perry’s tear ducts were bone dry. While everyone was hysterical, he said he was just numb.
“We had done 237 episodes, including this last one, aptly called ‘The Last One.’ Jennifer Aniston was sobbing – after a while I was amazed she still had water all over her body. Even Matt LeBlanc was crying,” he added. “But I didn’t feel anything.”
“I couldn’t tell if it was from the opioid buprenorphine I was taking, or if I was just dead inside,” the 53-year-old said.
In the incredibly and obviously honest memoir, Perry is transparent about his addiction and substance abuse issues, revealing his near-death experiences.
“Not only do I have the disease, but I also have it in pain. I have it as badly as you can get it, actually. It’s my back against the wall all the time. It’s going to kill me,” wrote Perry in the harrowing memoir.
The ‘Friends’ actor revealed he spent nearly $9 million to get sober, had 14 surgeries and nearly died multiple times. He even recalled once when his heart stopped for five minutes.
“It’s very strange to live in a world where if you died it would shock people but not surprise anyone,” he said.
As he claims he is now sober, he takes an opioid withdrawal drug called Suboxone, which he will, ironically, take forever. Luckily for him, he adds, there aren’t enough opiates in the world to get him high – the star used to take 1,800 milligrams, and it still wasn’t enough.
According to his memoir, Perry’s “Friends” co-stars confronted him about his addiction, trapping him in his trailer after he smelled the stench of booze.
“I made a rule that I would never drink or take anything at work. But I would blindly show myself hungover,” he writes in the book, although he thinks he hid his addiction.” I also knew, ‘Remember this because it’s going to be the best time of your life.’ I knew I would never forgive myself if I messed this up.
It was Aniston, who plays Rachel Green on the NBC sitcom, who reached out the most when Perry struggled, he admitted in an interview with Diane Sawyer.
As a teenager, he remembered begging and begging heaven to be famous.
“God, you can do whatever you want with me. Please make me famous,” he recalled praying.
But his rise to fame only exacerbated his addiction issues, which began when he was 14 and was introduced to drinking. At 18, he drank every day.
The pages of his book are full of similar vignettes describing his addiction, his concoctions of pills and alcohol he regularly consumed, and his endless cycle of stints in rehab.
Although he also shared details about his lost loves and failed relationships – including a crush on his co-star Aniston – his addiction is the star of the book.
“There’s a reason I’m still here,” Perry wrote. “And to understand why is the task entrusted to me.”
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