Friends fiend

Mathew Perry shares his struggle with addiction in new book



From left to right: David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Cook, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani and Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay in “Friends.” (Photo by Warner Bros. Television/TNS)

Story by Mollie Fisher, Staff Writer

The beloved “Friends” goofball, Chandler Bing, shares his backstory with addiction and the real feelings behind the witty, sarcastic character seen on television.

Recently, Mathew Perry wrote his book, “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing.” He opens his book with the powerful line, “Hi my name is Matthew. Although you may know me by another name. My friends call me “Mattie” and I should be dead.”

Perry spent his early teenage years experimenting with drinking and even had his first drink at 14. Soon after, he was drinking every day and was officially addicted at 16.

The sitcom actor did everything he was supposed to to become healthy and sober again. He attended thousands of AA (alcohol anonymous) meetings and has been in and out of rehab 15 times. 

He didn’t just take his loss with addiction though. Instead, he fought for years to see the other side and recover, though he’ll never erase the effects this has had on him.

Despite Perry’s internal struggles, his co-stars assured that he was the one that was determined to make others happy. The show made millions, but the money and talent weren’t enough to maintain his own mental health.

We see Chandler be that relatable character that people always see themselves in; this is the effect of the directors meeting Perry and getting a feel for his personality and awkward tendencies. However, Perry could relate to others in much different ways than his character ever could.

As an avid Friends watcher, it was saddening to see my favorite character change throughout the lengthy shows, but the difference from season one to season five was very apparent to the audience. From weight gain to signs of drug abuse, the fans became worried, and it was revealed that his addiction was a contribution to the ending of the show.

Though it’s hard to see an adored actor in so much turmoil, it’s encouraging to see him push through and continue his show, even in his condition. 

Perry ends his book with an even more powerful quote than he opened with. 

“I never gave up, I never raised my hands,” Perry wrote. “That’s enough, I can’t take it anymore, you win.”