Good friend | 

Matthew Perry reveals how Jennifer Aniston tried to help as his drinking escalated

He spent two weeks in a coma and five months in hospital and had to use a colostomy bag for nine months

Matthew Perry

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

Friends star Matthew Perry has told how his co-star Jennifer Aniston tried to help him with his drinking problem as it spiralled out of control.

The 53-year-old actor, who played the funny and sarcastic Chandler Bing on the popular US sitcom, said it was Aniston, who he affectionately calls “Jenny” who finally confronted him on his problem.

Perry told ABC News journalist Diane Sawyer in a trailer ahead of an October 28 sit-down interview: “Imagine how scary a moment that was,” he said.

“She was the one who reached out the most, you know. I’m really grateful to her for that.”

The actor has been opening up ahead of a new tell-all book, ‘Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir’ that will be published on November 1.

In an interview with People magazine he revealed how he was in the early stages of alcoholism when Friends began.

Over the ensuing years, it got to a point where four years ago, his colon burst from using opioids.

He spent two weeks in a coma and five months in hospital and had to use a colostomy bag for nine months.

He said: "The doctors told my family that I had a 2% chance to live.

"I was put on a thing called an Ecmo machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and your lungs. And that's called a Hail Mary. No one survives that."

Perry said five people were put on Ecmo machines that night and only he survived, making him question why he was the one.

He said his alcohol addiction began to surface when he was first cast on Friends aged 24.

By the end of the 10th series of the hit show, he became "entrenched in a lot of trouble".

The clip reveals Perry telling Sawyer that he also was once taking “55 Vicodin a day,” as well as Methadone, Xanax and a full quart of vodka.

“At the time, I should have been the toast of the town,” Perry said. Instead, “I was in a dark room meeting nothing but drug dealers, and completely alone.”

Perry said he waited until now to share the extreme depths of his addiction because he wanted to make sure he is "safe from going into the dark side of everything again".

He said there were years when he was sober while filming and that his fellow cast members had been "understanding" and "patient" with him when he was going through difficult times.

"It's like penguins. Penguins, in nature, when one is sick or when one is very injured, the other penguins surround it and prop it up," he said.

"They walk around it until that penguin can walk on its own. That's kind of what the cast did for me."

He said: "I didn't know how to stop. If the police came over to my house and said, 'If you drink tonight, we're going to take you to jail', I'd start packing.

"I couldn't stop because the disease and the addiction is progressive, so it gets worse and worse as you grow older."

After 15 times in rehab and therapy sessions, Perry says he is now "pretty healthy" and motivated to help others struggling with addiction.

He feels "everything starts with sobriety", adding: "Because if you don't have sobriety, you're going to lose everything that you put in front of it, so my sobriety is right up there.

"I'm an extremely grateful guy. I'm grateful to be alive, that's for sure. And that gives me the possibility to do anything."

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