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The One Where Matthew Perry Writes an Addiction Memoir


“I’d fake back injuries. I’d fake migraine headaches. I had eight doctors going at the identical time,” Perry said. “I’d get up and should get 55 Vicodin that day, and determine find out how to do it. Whenever you’re a drug addict, it’s all math. I am going to this place, and I want to take three. After which I am going to this place, and I’m going to take five because I’m going to be there longer. It’s exhausting but you could have to do it otherwise you get very, very sick. I wasn’t doing it to feel high or to feel good. I actually wasn’t a partyer; I just wanted to sit down on my couch, take five Vicodin and watch a movie. That was heaven for me. It not is.”

Perry said he had been clean for 18 months, which suggests that he was newly drug- and alcohol-free when the “Friends” reunion aired in May 2021.

“I’ve probably spent $9 million or something attempting to get sober,” he estimated.

Most addicts don’t have Perry’s resources. But they’ve what he called “the gift of anonymity,” while his bleakest moments have been photographed, chronicled and sometimes mocked. For the record, Perry isn’t an enormous fan of secrecy because it pertains to Alcoholics Anonymous, where he sponsors three members. He explained: “It suggests that there’s a stigma and that we now have to cover. This will not be a well-liked opinion, by the way in which.”

Perry’s demeanor brightened after we talked about pickleball, his latest obsession. He built a court at the home he’s moving into within the Palisades. He plays with friends and hired pros. He said, “I believed it might be a very good idea, to pump myself up, to play pickleball before this interview, but principally I’m about to go to sleep in your lap.”

So what inspired him to jot down a book?

After his prolonged stay in a Los Angeles hospital, Perry began tapping out his life story on the Notes app on his phone. When he hit 110 pages, he showed them to his manager, who told him to maintain going. He worked at his dining room table for about two hours a day, no more: “It was hard to face all these things.”

Perry has written for television (“The Odd Couple,” “Mr. Sunshine”) before but, “writing a book I had probably not considered before,” he said. “At any time when I bumped into something that I didn’t really need to share, I’d consider the those who I can be helping, and it might keep me going.”

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