Matthew Perry reveals he ‘woke up covered in’ his ‘own’ feces 50 to 60 times after his colon burst


Matthew Perry reflected on the challenges of having to use a colostomy bag while recovering from his colon bursting due to opioid overdose, at age 49, in 2018.

After suffering from a gastrointestinal perforation, the actor recently revealed he had to use a colostomy bag for nine months and was given just a two per cent chance of survival after spending two weeks in a coma on life support.  

In a new interview with GQ, the Friends alum provided a snippet from his upcoming memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, in which he recalls waking up ‘covered in’ his own feces 50 to 60 times.

Harrowing experience: Matthew Perry reflected on the challenges of having to use a colostomy bag while recovering from his colon bursting due to opioid overdose, at age 49, in 2018

During his five-month hospital stay following his colon rupturing, he told the outlet that he he would regularly wake up and find his colostomy bag had ‘broken again.’

‘I had sh** all over my face, all over my body, in the bed next door. When it breaks, it breaks. You have to get nurses,’ he detailed. 

To his horror when the time came to remove his colostomy bag, the operation didn’t initially work and it was replaced with an ileostomy bag. 

Vulnerable: In a new interview with GQ , the Friends alum provided a snippet from his upcoming memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, in which he recalls waking up 'covered in' his own feces 50 to 60 times

Vulnerable: In a new interview with GQ , the Friends alum provided a snippet from his upcoming memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, in which he recalls waking up ‘covered in’ his own feces 50 to 60 times

‘Ten times worse. You have to deal with an ileostomy bag 18, 19 times a day. A lot of suicides with an ileostomy bag. People can’t take it,’ he said. 

Soon afterward, however, he underwent surgery and that ‘fixed things,’ according to the performer, who has since ‘lived without’ a colostomy bag for ‘along time.’ 

‘I’m very grateful,’ Perry stated, despite adjusting to how his body looks with ‘plenty of scars.’ 

In recovery: Soon afterward, however, he underwent surgery and that 'fixed things,' according to the performer, who has since 'lived without' a colostomy bag for 'along time' (pictured in 2017)

In recovery: Soon afterward, however, he underwent surgery and that ‘fixed things,’ according to the performer, who has since ‘lived without’ a colostomy bag for ‘along time’ (pictured in 2017)

‘I look at them with gratitude, because it helped me stay alive. But I have to live my life 24/7 with all of this scar tissue I’m constantly aware of. It feels like I’m doing a sit-up at full stretch all the time,’ he explained.

Still, upon first taking his shirt off after his hospital stay, Perry admitted to bursting ‘into tears’ and being ‘disturbed’ as he feared thought his ‘life was over.’

To feel better, about 30 minutes later, Perry confesses to calling his drug dealer. 

'I look at them with gratitude, because it helped me stay alive. But I have to live my life 24/7 with all of this scar tissue I'm constantly aware of. It feels like I'm doing a sit-up at full stretch all the time,' he explained (pictured in September 2022)

 ‘I look at them with gratitude, because it helped me stay alive. But I have to live my life 24/7 with all of this scar tissue I’m constantly aware of. It feels like I’m doing a sit-up at full stretch all the time,’ he explained (pictured in September 2022)

This led to him to try and sober at another rehab center, this time in Switzerland, where he nearly died again after his heart stopped for a full five minutes. 

‘This huge, strong guy leaped on top of me,’ Perry said, ‘and did CPR, and broke eight of my ribs and saved my life.’ 

As he continues to put his recovery first, Perry has declined to reveal how long he has been sober, but says ‘it’s been a little while’ since he’s relapsed.  

‘I’m less ruled by fear now. One of the things I learned is I can handle when bad things happen now. I’m resilient, I am strong, and those things should come very clearly to the reader in the book as well. I am a strong man and I never gave myself credit for that, ever. But now I’m slowly starting to,’ he noted.

Household name: Perry rose to fame as Chandler Bing in Friends, which aired from 1994 to 2004 (pictured in character)

Household name: Perry rose to fame as Chandler Bing in Friends, which aired from 1994 to 2004 (pictured in character)

During an interview with People this month, he said he was sharing his story now that he’s ‘pretty safely sober — and away from the active disease of alcoholism and addiction’ and to ‘help people.’ 

Talking about his starring role on Friends at aged 24, his alcohol addiction was starting to surface.

He said he could handle it but he was ‘entrenched in a lot of trouble’ by the time he was 34. He said there were years during that time in which he was sober and in fact, he was sober throughout the whole of season nine, the year he got nominated for Best Actor. 

At one point during his Friends career, he admits he was taking 55 Vicodin a day and was down to 128 pounds but yet he ‘didn’t know how to stop.’ 

He said the disease has got worse and worse and progressive and he’s got older and noted his Friends cast mates ‘were understanding, and they were patient.’

A constant battle, Matthew says: ‘I’m pretty healthy now’. He is choosing not to say how long he has been sober for but is ‘counting each day.’ 

On his own journey: As he continues to put his recovery first, Perry has declined to reveal how long he has been sober, but says 'it's been a little while' since he's relapsed; seen in 1897

On his own journey: As he continues to put his recovery first, Perry has declined to reveal how long he has been sober, but says ‘it’s been a little while’ since he’s relapsed; seen in 1897

He said his therapist has told him that he may have to have a colostomy bag for the rest of his life if he takes drugs again, which helps him to avoid relapsing. 

The actor, who checked himself into rehab during his time on Friends once in 1997 and again in 2001.

Matthew famously told the New York Times in 2002, one year after getting sober: ‘When [fame] happens, it’s kind of like Disneyland for a while. 

‘For me it lasted about eight months, this feeling of “I’ve made it, I’m thrilled, there’s no problem in the world”. 

He told the Hollywood Reporter in 2015: ‘I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in my life. I learned a lot from my failures.

‘But the best thing about me is that if an alcoholic comes up to me and says, “Will you help me stop drinking?” I will say, “Yes, I know how to do that.”‘ 

‘And then you realise that it doesn’t accomplish anything, it’s certainly not filling any holes in your life. I didn’t get sober because I felt like it. I got sober because I was worried I was going to die the next day.’

‘It’s no accident that Chandler is a guy who is trying to deter his own human emotional feelings with laughter. That’s what I did for years. I’ve tried to palm myself off as being a jokester, kind of like hanging out with me is kind of like a vacation. But that could only take me so far.’

He did his third stint in rehab in May 2011, when a representative for the star said it was to prevent a relapse.

From Friends superstar to a 30-year battle with addiction: Matthew’s trials and tribulations

1982 –  Matthew revealed he had his first taste of alcohol at the age of 13

1994 –  After spending his post high school years appearing in a string of US sitcoms, Matthew, 24, lands the role of Chandler Bing in Friends, which becomes an instant success. He later told the New York Times of that period: 

‘When [fame] happens, it’s kind of like Disneyland for a while. For me it lasted about eight months, this feeling of “I’ve made it, I’m thrilled, there’s no problem in the world.’ 

‘And then you realise that it doesn’t accomplish anything, it’s certainly not filling any holes in your life.’

1997 – At the peak of his success on the NBC sitcom, Matthew is injured in a jet-ski accident. He is prescribed opioids to cope with the fame, later recalling that he took the prescribed pills without question: ‘I did and I felt better than I ever felt in my entire life. I had a big problem with pills and alcohol, and I couldn’t stop.’

He checked into rehab that same year but said: ‘You can’t have a drug problem for 30 years and then expect to have it solved in 28 days. Getting sober is a really hard thing to do.’

1998 – Despite his rehab stint, the actor continues to battle addiction, revealing ‘I don’t remember three years of [the show]. Somewhere between seasons three and six… I was a little out of it.’ At one point during his Friends career, he is taking 55 Vicodin a day.

2001 – Matt completes another stint in rehab for for addiction to Vicodin, methadone, amphetamines, and alcohol. 

2003 – The TV star is sober for season nine of Friends, when he was nominated for a Best Actor Emmy. 

2004 – Friends wraps after ten seasons 

2007 – He receives Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominations for his critically acclaimed turn in the titular role of TNT movie, The Ron Clark Story.

2011  – The actor enters rehab for a third time, with a representative for the star saying it was to prevent a relapse. The actor says in a statement: ‘I’m making plans to go away for a month to focus on my sobriety and to continue my life in recovery. Please enjoy making fun of me on the World Wide Web.’ 

In his role as a spokesperson for National Association of Drug Court Professionals, Matthew goes to Capitol Hill to lobby members of Congress in support of funding for drug courts.

2013 – He receives a Champion of Recovery award from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy for opening Perry House, a sober living home situated in his former mansion in Malibu, California

2015 – Matthew sells his Malibu home and shutters the rehab center 

2017 – A porn star reveals she fears Matthew has relapsed after the actor pleaded with her to get him ’40/50′ prescription pills.

2018 – Matthew has abdominal surgery to repair a gastrointestinal perforation. He has now revealed he was given just a two per cent chance of survival after his opioid addiction caused his colon to burst when he was aged 49, leaving him in a coma for two weeks and spending months in hospital.

He has to use a colostomy bag for nine months, and has had 14 surgeries on his stomach in total over the years.

2021 – The cast of Friends reunite on screen for the first time in 17 years. There are concerns after Perry appears to slur his speech in a promo for the reunion special.

Ben Winston, who directed Friends: The Reunion, said of those commenting on Perry’s appearance during the HBO Max special: ‘He was great. People can sometimes just be unkind. I wish they weren’t. 

‘I loved working with him. He’s a brilliantly funny man and I thought he had some great one-liners in the show. I felt just happy and lucky to be in his presence and directing him on something like this.’

2022 – Matthew gives his first tell-all interview in which he details how his drug and alcohol addictions secretly nearly cost him his life.

 

 

 

 

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