Matthew Perry spent years clueless he was an alcoholic
Matthew Perry spent years clueless he was an alcoholic.
The ‘Friends’ actor, 53, said he didn’t class himself as having a booze problem despite the fact he started drinking every day from the age of 18.
He said on Good Morning America on Monday (31.10.22) about not realising he was hooked on drink until he read Alcoholics Anonymous literature: “A lot of people have alcoholism and don’t know that they do.
“They’re wondering why they drink so much. I didn’t know. I had to keep it a secret because I didn’t understand what was going on.
“Certain lines in the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous made me aware.
“I thought I was alone in this and then I read a passage that said drinkers think they are trying to escape but really what they’re trying to do is get over an illness that they don't know they have. I went, ‘Oh there’s 30million people that think like me.’
“If you've gone through anything close to what I’ve gone through, I can help. There’s some light that comes on in people's eyes when they get it.”
Matthew previously told Diane Sawyer in an interview to promote his autobiography his drinking began at 14 when he drank a full bottle of wine, before his habit became daily by 18.
He said: “I lay in the grass and was in heaven. I thought to myself, ‘This must be the way normal people feel all the time.’”
Matthew has been to rehab 15 times, had multiple surgeries to treat his burst colon and estimates he spent $9 million trying to get sober.
He estimates he attended some 6,000 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and detoxed 54 times, many of which were during his run playing Chandler Bing on Friends for 10 years.
He has insisted he stuck to a rule never to drink or take drugs on set of the sitcom, which ran from 1994 to 2004 – but admitted he would turn up hungover.
Matthew said: “I made a rule that I would never drink or take anything at work.
“So I would never do that, but I would show up blindly hungover. Like shaking. I loved Chandler, I loved the show. And I knew, ‘Remember this, because it’s going to be the best time of your life.’
“And I knew I would never forgive myself if I messed this up.”