Matthew Perry has been a household name since he graced our screens with his character Chandler Bing in Friends, when he was just 25 years old. Sadly, he died on Saturday 28th October at the age of 54. His death has shocked the internet, and there have been an incredible amount of celebrity tributes and love outpoured across new platforms and social media.
During his years of fame and sharing his acting talents with the world, he also shared personal stories of his struggle with addiction. A struggle that began before he rose to fame.
Perry discovered the effects of alcohol at the age of 14, where he felt that it made him more charming and quietened his negative thoughts. Years later, prescription painkillers became his next addiction. Matthew Perry set his goal of achieving fame, as he believed that it would solve his problems. However, it took until he reached his goals to realise fame didn’t have any impact on his struggles.
Motivated to help others
Throughout his public life, Perry was candid about his multiple stays in rehab, the various substances he was addicted to, and the ongoing struggles of addiction. He used the stories of his life to become an inspirational figure advocating for helping others with addiction.
As part of his mission to help those recovering from an addiction, he turned his Malibu home into the Perry house, a sober living facility which was open until 2015.
Matthew Perry told his stories in his own way, with a combination of hope and humour, much like his Friends character. Before one of his stays in rehab, he made a statement to announce his plans in which he said, “Please enjoy making fun of me on the world wide web”. Playing into his humour with the fact that this was not the first time he’d made this announcement.
Perry is a brave and realistic public figure in highlighting the fact that addiction is not an easy thing to recover from. There can be many ups and downs in the journey to sobriety. But his attitude throughout his journey represents acceptance and a willingness to continue working towards being completely sober.
‘Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing’ A Memoir by Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry released his memoir in 2022, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing. Whilst promoting this book last year, he spoke on the ‘Q With Tom Power’ podcast about what he’d like his legacy to be.
This conversation happened only a year before his death. Perry candidly revealed, “I would like to be remembered as somebody who lived well, loved well,” as well as for people to recognise that “his paramount thing is that he wants to help people. That’s what I want.” Matthew Perry certainly left his mark in the addiction recovery space in this way.
In this same podcast, he spoke about his strong desire to help people who are struggling with addiction. He described “the best thing about [him]” is that anyone could ask him to help them stop drinking and he’d make sure he followed through on his promise to help.
Matthew Perry’s Real Time Addiction Revelations
The bravest thing about Matthew Perry was that he always spoke about his addiction struggles as they happened. He didn’t wait for the clean story, or to only share the light at the end of the tunnel.
Perry made his decision to share his darkest moments while he was going through them. In the hopes that his honesty could help somebody else recognise that they’re not alone.
The truth is that society still holds a stigma around addiction. People prefer to hear the success stories of a person who has fully recovered, or is years down the journey of recovery. Matthew Perry broke the frame of telling a before and after story, he revealed the journey all along.
Reach Out to New Leaf
Matthew Perry's candid and courageous journey serves as a reminder that recovery is a continuous process with its ups and downs.
If you're looking to take the first step on the road to addiction recovery, or if you have a loved one who may need support, don't hesitate to reach out to us for help.
New Leaf Recovery is here to provide the assistance, resources, and guidance you need to start your own path to recovery.
You can contact us today to begin your journey toward a brighter, addiction-free future.