Matthew Perry opened up about his lifelong struggle with addiction, and how it affects viewing the show he became famous on.
In an interview with ABC News, Perry went in-depth on his issues with addiction, including how he first started drinking at 14. Perry also revealed he would be drinking every day by age 18 and at one point was taking 55 Vicodin pills a day.
One particularly heartbreaking moment during the interview is when the interviewer, Diane Sawyer, asked Perry if it would be okay to watch a scene from one of the earlier seasons of ‘Friends’.
Perry agrees and immediately brings his hand to his head as he sees a younger, far skinnier version of himself portraying Chandler Bing.
“It’s very hard to watch that,” he tells Sawyer. “Because in this weird way I feel sorry for that guy. That’s a guy that’s out of control.”
“I didn’t know what was going on with me. I weighed 155lbs (70kgs) on my way to 128lbs (58kgs),” he says before choking up.
“I feel too sorry for that guy. He’s going through too much and it’s me, and I remember that and I didn’t understand what was going on. But, again, I’m grateful to not be that anymore, but it’s hard to watch that.”
Perry has just released a book, ‘Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing’, that goes fully in-depth about his life and struggles with addiction. The ‘Friends’ star says that a major reason he did so is to help other people who find themselves in a similar place to where he was.
“Whenever I was writing the book and I came to a section that was hard I just thought however deep and dark it went for me, that will help somebody who got that dark.”
Good on Matthew for using his large following to help other people!
If you or someone you love struggles with addiction please use the resources below:
Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor.
Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP).
Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO).
Healthline – 0800 611 116
Samaritans – 0800 726 666