It is is crazy to think that while we were laughing along with the lovable character Chandler on Friends, at the same time the actor was falling apart at the seams. Matthew Perry is mostly a very private person, but fame put a spotlight on his addictions which he was unable to hide.
The actor has had a really successful career but under the media frenzy it is not surprising that he cracked like so many other celebrities before him. Behind the witty and sarcastic persona of Chandler, the former Friends star battled a serious addiction to drugs and alcohol. These moments in his life have been splattered across the media, so this news is no secret. During his rise to fame he had two stints in rehab and it finally looks like he is on the right road. Now this kind-hearted actor wants to help others who have also found themselves on the path of destruction. On his 46th birthday yesterday he chose to release a really inspiring video.
It was at age 24 that Matthew Perry's life dramatically changed when he was cast as Chandler in Friends
As his acting career rocketed upward, the cracks were beginning to form as he struggled to cope with the dramatic changes in his life:
"I was on Friends from age 24 to 34. I was in the white-hot flame of fame. The six of us were just everywhere all the time. From an outsider's perspective, it would seem like I had it all. It was actually a very lonely time for me because I was suffering from alcoholism."
At his worst, Matthew was drinking around two pints of vodka a day and swallowing a cocktail of 30 tablets. He become addicted to opioids and painkillers, amongst other drugs. Shockingly, in this time his weight dropped as low as 145 pounds.
"You can't have a drug problem for 30 years and expect to solve it in 28 days."
"I'm a pretty private person, but I was on a TV show that 30 million people were watching. So people knew. It was so public what was happening to me."
Matthew has been really courageous and has publicly opened up about his journey over the years. Now he has created this new video after becoming inspired.
The actor knows how important treatment centers are. And has singled out Phoenix House on the Venice Beach boardwalk in Los Angeles. He is now helping others get on the right path to recovery
"I was very moved by the hope that I saw there, which is what this is all about. Getting sober is a really hard thing to do."
"The most important thing is to get outside of your head and to help another person. When you are having a bad day call someone and ask how they are doing and listen to the answer."
Matthew has been inspiring others to help themselves and those around them
Dennis is a resident in Pheonix House and found comfort in Matthew's story:
"I remember when he came out [talking about his addictions] and I thought 'wow' he came courageously out upfront and talked about what he was going through, So when I hear something about someone else who has been through what I've been through it carries a lot of weight."
Another house client called Ben went on to say how helping others helps to lift his spirits:
"They have a smile on their face and they thank you. That's what it's all about: doing good for someone."
The actor is full of love for those who need help
"I have had a lot of ups and downs in my life. I've learned a lot from my failures, but the best thing about me is that, if an alcoholic comes up to me and says 'can you help me stop drinking'? I can say 'yes.' The fact that I’m on TV makes people listen a little bit more, and I take advantage of that."
Here is the inspiring video in full
The actor has made a huge change to his life and now he is on a new road to helping others battle their demons.
Matthew Perry celebrated his sobriety in 2013 by famously turning his former house into a sober living facility
How awesome is that? Amazingly, the kind-hearted actor worked with interventionist and addiction specialist Earl Hightower and converted his former home in to a full sober-living center called Perry House. It offered meditation programs and a 12-step workshop to addicts looking to recover
"When I die, I'd like 'Friends' to be listed behind helping people."
It is so fantastic to see that Matthew is finally doing much better and I really hope that he stays on the right track!