Dear Matthew Perry :: A Friend I Never Met
This cannot be real. While I know we had never met and you have never even heard of me or heard my name, you were a staple in my daily routine throughout high school, college, adulthood, and now motherhood. I watch episodes of Friends at least once a day. Your humor during tough times always made me feel like I wasn’t alone. While all of the characters were so relatable, I honestly related to you more than I did even the women on the show:
I dated the wrong people until I found the right one who was under my nose the whole time.
No one understands what the hell I do for a living and could definitely NOT guess it to win a trivia game.
I am extremely sarcastic.
I make jokes when I’m uncomfortable, too.
Yes, this was a character you were playing, but you mention in your book that when you read the pilot episode you felt like Chandler was you! And that is why to me Chandler is Matty and Matty is Chandler.
Your early struggles were only rumored by fans and media because of the lost weight in seasons of Friends. But I can speak for most of America and say that you hid your struggles well. Which makes me so sad to think about. I cannot imagine what you dealt with on a daily basis. Thank goodness you had 5 friends who became your family from 1994 til now.
Like most Americans, your addiction started after an accident when you were prescribed opioids by a physician who was probably unsure of your potential for addiction. You were admitted to the hospital; you almost died. But you powered through. You have been in and out of at least 15 rehabs. You have endured multiple surgeries to try to repair the drug damage.
But you did recover. You had your best season when you were in recovery – season 9! You even earned an Emmy nomination for best actor. I’m sure you remember that and will always hold on dear to that moment. The most beautiful and admirable thing of all is how you shared your story and struggles with the world no matter what negativity came your way.
Although you had remained sober, you always tried hard to stay that way. A quote from an interview you did a few years back: “Your sober date changes, but that’s all that changes. You know everything you knew before, [and] as long as you were able to fight your way back without dying, you learn a lot.” It goes to show you that addiction doesn’t just target the rich and famous. It targets anyone.
In your book, you talk about wanting to be known for more than just Friends, but for helping others who struggle with addiction just as you did for most of your life. I, one of your fans, will do that for you.
You opened “Perry House” in Malibu to house many addicts. You have done so many interviews to get the word out about all of the amazing work you do to help others. You provided information on where and how to seek help. What could be better than one former addict helping current ones? (I’m lucky enough to know one personally.) You know what they’ve been through. You have been through the same thing. The only difference is that you did it in the public eye!
You are truly a legend. Thank you for the laughs. Thank you for the tears. Could the world be any sadder? … Hi, I’m Erika Lockhart, I make jokes when I’m uncomfortable.
I really am uncomfortable. I’m sad. And not sure I will be able to watch Friends today without sobbing.
All my love,