It took years for Matthew Perry to realize the severity of his problems but he made sure he turned it around.
The sarcastic, quirky Chandler Bing from the sitcom Friends is one of the most memorable characters from the 90s TV series era. For over 10 seasons and even after that, the character played by Matthew Perry made us giggle and laugh. Though we all remember him as the guy with the third nipple from the hilarious sitcom, the actor has had his share of struggles. He has openly talked about how his life has gone through major lows even while starring in the sitcom. However, the actor has braved through his drug and alcohol abuse and has emerged stronger.
A jet ski accident in 1997 was the beginning of Perry's dark phase. The actor was put on painkillers and got completely hooked on it. The actor told People that he was downing an "insane number of pills." "It wasn’t my intention to have a problem with it. But from the start, I liked how it made me feel, and I wanted to get more," stated Perry, according to Page Six. Since then, for four years, Perry struggled to get over the issues. "I’ve been through a very dark time," recalled the actor.
His battle with his addictions was also clear as he played Chandler in the sitcom. The once healthy actor appeared to struggle with fluctuating weight. “It was terrifying, watching someone you care about in so much pain,” said the executive director of Friends, Marta Kauffman. Recalling those days, Perry stated, "I was out of control and very unhealthy. I returned to my original birth weight."
He first went to rehab in 1997. However, that did not bring him back on track. Perry relapsed again. In 2000, the actor who had also begun alcohol abuse was admitted with pancreatitis. He told People that he had “probably a quart of vodka a day.”
It was only in 2001 that it hit him just how bad the situation was. His habits had made it impossible for him to function properly. He soon figured out that he needed serious help. “It was scary. I didn’t want to die. But I’m grateful for how bad it got. It only made me more adamant about trying to get better,” said the Fools Rush In actor. With a deep desire to get out of his terrible situation, he called his parents for help. He went on for treatment and learned it was possible for him to lead a happy life without drugs or alcohol.
Since then, the actor has remained sober. He was so determined to remain clean that in 2011, he went into rehab just to keep track of his sobriety. "I’m making plans to go away for a month to focus on my sobriety and to continue my life in recovery," stated the 50-year-old actor. Not only did he care to change his life but he also took initiatives to change the lives of people who struggled just like him.
Catch up with the news that Friends star @MatthewPerry and Girls creator @lenadunham have penned monologues about mental health and addiction, as part of a night at the @oldvictheatre curated by Russell Brand (@RustyRockets). Read in full here: https://t.co/8Fa4o6lc6E pic.twitter.com/pzCdKRKQxZ— The Stage (@TheStage) September 1, 2019
He converted his Malibu residence into Perry House, a facility that offers help be sober, which he had to sell it off later. In 2015, he was awarded the Phoenix Rising Award from the wide-reaching nonprofit drug and alcohol rehabilitation organization Phoenix House.
However, Perry could not keep up his dream of continuing the facility. He sold the Mailbu house hoping to start the facility in Santa Monica.
Meanwhile, the actor has been on the path of recovery for long. Though he had some health setbacks in 2018, it still looks like he is moving forward in his journey free of drugs and alcohol.