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Remembering Matthew Perry

Photo+from+%40mattyperry4+on+Instagram
Photo from @mattyperry4 on Instagram

October 28, 2023. This was the day we all lost a beloved actor, an inspiration to people all around the world, and most of all, a friend. 

Matthew Perry born August 19, 1969, played in movies such as “17 Again,” “Fools Rush In,” and “The Ron Clark Story” and TV shows such as “The Odd Couple,” “Growing Pains” and “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” 

While he acted in many more movies and shows, Perry is best known for his role as Chandler Bing on the TV show “Friends.” 

Starring alongside Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Cudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer, Perry helped to create an enjoyable, exciting and entertaining show. The show aired for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004. Then, in 2021, the cast came back for a reunion

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Throughout the 10 years of the show, the cast didn’t just become friends, they became a family. In fact, Jennifer Aniston was the first person to confront Perry on his addiction. 

“We know you’re drinking,” she had told him.

Perry had a rule. He wouldn’t work high or drunk. Even though his addiction was getting worse, he refused to let it mess up his career. 

“I was the injured penguin, but I was determined to not let these wonderful people, and this show, down,” Perry had written in his memoir “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.”

Perry had always dreamed of being famous, in fact he prayed for it, in hopes that it would fill some void that he felt was always with him. 

With parents divorced before his first birthday he says he always felt a kind of loneliness, but drinking stopped that. Even if it was just for a little while. 

Perry started drinking at 14 years old. After that it was like he couldn’t stop.

“A lot of people think that addiction is a choice. A lot of people think it’s a matter of will. That has not been my experience. I don’t find it to have anything to do with strength,” he said.

After learning how to balance 55 pills a day while still running through his normal routine, Perry checked into rehab 15 times, spending around 9 million dollars trying to get clean. He went into detox around 65 times, went to around 6,000 aa meetings and had 14 surgeries done due to the addiction. 

One time he even went into a coma in 2019 after his colon erupted due to taking too many opioids. He was on life support for 2 weeks, and his family said he had a 2% chance of surviving. 

“Do you know what St. Peter says to everyone who tries to get into heaven?… Peter says, ‘Don’t you have any scars?’ And when most would respond proudly, ‘Well, no, no I don’t,’ Peter says, ‘Why not? Was there nothing worth fighting for?”

Perry always believed in helping others. His friends and family always said that he was the person that could always make someone laugh, that he was always upbeat and ready to help someone.

One of the reasons that Perry was so open and straightforward with his addiction was because he wanted to help people. He hoped that his story and his life would help others struggling with similar problems.

“The best thing about me, bar none, is if somebody comes up to me and says: ‘I can’t stop drinking. Can you help me?’ I can say yes and follow up and do it,” he said.

Even after his passing he still does just that.

Before his death Perry had an idea to start a foundation that supports people suffering with substance abuse and addiction. In early November of 2023, The Matthew Perry Foundation went public. 

This wasn’t the first foundation Perry established. In 2013 Perry turned his old Malibu beach house into a men’s sober living facility, which ran for 2 years. 

“When I die, I don’t want ‘Friends’ to be the first thing that’s mentioned — I want helping others to be the first thing that’s mentioned. And I’m going to live the rest of my life proving that,” Perry had said. “Addiction is far too powerful for anyone to defeat alone. But together, one day at a time, we can beat it down.”

 

National Mental Health Hotline | 866-903-3787

Substance and Alcohol Abuse Hotline | 1-800-662-4357

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