Matthew Perry continues to share candid moments from his long journey to sobriety and the struggles he endured during his run on NBC’s “Friends” while yo-yoing between Vicodin and alcohol addictions.
In an excerpt from his new book “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing,” Perry recounts how a visit from co-star Jennifer Aniston to his trailer made him realize his secretive drinking behavior was not so secret.
“‘I know you drink,’ she said,” Perry, now 53, wrote in his memoir, in an excerpt published by The Times of London.
“I had long since passed her – since she had started dating Brad Pitt, I was fine – and I had calculated exactly how long to watch her without it being awkward, but still, being confronted with Jennifer Aniston was devastating. And I was confused,” he continued.
“‘How can you tell?’ I said. I never worked drunk. ‘I tried to hide it…'”
Elsewhere in the excerpt, Perry mentioned that he had “never” worked high or drunk (although he had “definitely worked hungover”), and he said he was largely capable to function as part of the hit “Friends” set thanks to his castmates and how they “would band together around [him] and accessory [him] up” like an injured penguin supported by the other penguins.
“I was the hurt penguin, but I was determined not to let these wonderful people and this show down,” he wrote.
But that day, in Perry’s trailer, Aniston made it clear to him that he wouldn’t get away with anything.
“‘We can feel it,’ she said, in a strange but loving way, and the plural ‘we’ hit me like a hammer,” Perry wrote.
“I know I drink too much, I said, but I don’t know exactly what to do about it. »
The ‘Whole Nine Yards’ star also describes in the new book how his weight fluctuated wildly due to pills making him sick and relieving his appetite, or alcohol making him bloated.
“You can track the trajectory of my addiction if you measure my weight from season to season – when I’m carrying weight, it’s alcohol; when I’m skinny, it’s pills. When I have a goatee, that’s a lot of pills.
Perry even referenced specific points from the hit show’s 10-season run and told readers what was going on with his addiction at the time.
“By the end of the third season, I was spending most of my time figuring out how to get 55 Vicodin a day – I had to get 55 every day or I’d be so sick. It was a full-time job: making calls, seeing doctors, faking migraines, finding shady nurses who would give me what I needed,” Perry wrote.
The actor recently said he’s finally ready to share his experiences now that he’s safe on the other side of addiction.
“I wanted to share when I was safe from stepping into the dark side of everything again,” Perry told People of the book. “I had to wait until I was safe sober – and away from the active disease of alcoholism and drug addiction – to write it all down. And the main thing was that I was pretty sure it would help people .
“Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing,” by Matthew Perry, will be released by Headline on November 1.