Could we be more devastated by the loss of Matthew Perry? 🙁

If you’re cracking open Matthew Perry’s memoir, “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing,” with expectations of a comedic rollercoaster through Perry’s Friends escapades, you’re veering off-course. Matthew Perry, the man behind the iconic character “Chandler Bing,” made it clear early on that he wanted his legacy to transcend his on-screen persona. Instead, he wished to be remembered for his struggle against addiction and his efforts to help others facing similar challenges.

Personally, I regret not having read the memoir before Perry’s passing. Upon its release, it acquired widespread attention as a must-read, though unfortunately, media focus deviated towards a comment about Keanu Reeves rather than the profound themes within the book.

Reading Perry’s memoir after his untimely passing, certain passages take on an eerie and somber tone, given his tragic death on October 28, 2023, merely a year after the book’s publication. Now knowing Perry’s death was accidental, a result of ketamine therapy for opioid addiction, it’s truly heart-wrenching to grasp the immense difficulty of successfully overcoming addiction.

He opened the book by revealing he should be dead. Again, it’s eerie to read that line now that he is gone. But he shared a harrowing incident in 2019 when his colon burst due to opioid overuse, leading to a two-week coma and a five-month hospitalization. He reflected on the shame he experienced from realizing that he had caused this life-threatening situation.

Perry, like other comedians who grappled with inner demons, demonstrated how humor often masks profound pain. He unveiled childhood hardships that laid the groundwork for later struggles, delving into a challenging relationship with his parents and a persistent sense of loneliness. Rather than blaming them for his addiction, Perry attributed it to a predisposition aggravated by childhood traumas.

The memoir candidly shared Perry’s ongoing battle with addiction, exposing a pattern of resorting to drugs to mask deeper issues. He discussed the staggering financial and professional toll, revealing a $7 million investment in rehabilitation and 14 surgeries. His substance abuse even led to the temporary shutdown of a film production.

For Friends fans, Matty discussed the different seasons and how you can spot his struggles by his appearance. He revealed scenes filmed before his rehab stint and reflected on co-stars, particularly the unrequited love he had for Jennifer Aniston. Despite no romantic involvement, Jennifer and Matthew built a strong friendship, and she supported him during his battle with addiction. Recently, it was disclosed that she texted him the morning of his passing, and why the news of his passing caught everyone off-guard as he seemed upbeat earlier that day.

The memoir continued to delve into Perry’s romantic entanglements, including a public romance with Julia Roberts and a flirtation over fax. He reflected on the complexities of his relationships, acknowledging personal insecurities and struggles, often finding solace in unfulfilling casual relationships.

Post-“Friends,” Perry grappled with emotional numbness, describing a decline exacerbated by a lack of fulfilling work and a special connection. Despite setbacks in his career, he explored various projects, including dramatic roles and personal creations, while reflecting on missed opportunities, including dropping out of a major film alongside Meryl Streep due to a medical emergency.

Despite the numerous setbacks, Perry shared his unwavering journey towards recovery, crediting therapy for helping him through his addiction. He emphasized the importance of surrendering to faith and expressed gratitude for the support of friends and family. Matt’s ultimate desire was to assist others in their recovery journey, and this book, along with the establishment of the Matthew Perry Foundation, ensures the continuation of his legacy.