Matthew Perry revealed what made him finally stop taking drugs — a colostomy bag.
Perry — known for his role as Chandler Bing on “Friends” — opened his new memoir “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing” with a harrowing scene where he was hospitalized due to a drug-related experience five months after his colon burst.
“I thought it would be grabbing. Especially to people who have this problem, and how dark it can get,” Perry, 53, told People.
“The doctors told my family that I had a 2% chance to live. That’s the time I really came close to my life ending. I was put on an ECMO machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and your lungs. Every doctor says it’s a Hail Mary. No one survives that. So the big question is why? Why was I the one that survived? There has to be some kind of reason.”
Perry was in a coma for two weeks at the age of 49, and when he regained consciousness, there was a surprise.
“I woke up and realized I had a colostomy bag,” he remembered. “They said, ‘It’s all too messy down there. We can’t do surgery. But in about a year, you can reverse that.’ It was pretty hellish having one because they break all the time.”
The frightening experience and sight of a colostomy bag were what ultimately did it for Perry.
“My therapist said, ‘The next time you think about taking OxyContin, just think about having a colostomy bag for the rest of your life,’ ” he shared. “And a little window opened, and I crawled through it, and I no longer want OxyContin.”
The colostomy bag wasn’t the only thing that helped Perry get sober. The “Friends” star also recalled an experience he had in his kitchen that helped him stop drinking — after he thought he sensed God.
“It was this bright yellow object that became all-encompassing. I couldn’t see the kitchen anymore. It was just this light, and I felt loved and understood, and in the company of God or whatever,” he said.
“My dad was right next to me, and we were holding hands, and I was praying when it started, which is something I rarely did. It was like God showed me what’s possible. And then said, ‘OK. Now you go learn this,’ ” Perry continued.
Perry’s memoir details his long battle with addiction and alcoholism, but Perry knows he’s now on the other side of it.
“I wanted to share when I was safe from going into the dark side of everything again. I had to wait until I was pretty safely sober, and away from the active disease of alcoholism and addiction to write it all down. And the main thing was, I was pretty certain that it would help people,” he said.
Though he won’t share exactly how long he’s been sober, he admits he still counts every day.
“It’s important, but if you lose your sobriety, it doesn’t mean you lose all that time and education. Your sober date changes, but that’s all that changes. You know everything you knew before, as long as you were able to fight your way back without dying, you learn a lot,” Perry explained.
Perry says he’s “grateful to be alive,” but what he’s most grateful for is his sobriety.ORDER A COPY OF ROB’S NEW BEST SELLING BOOK! Called “America’s Number ONE Gossip Columnist” by The National Enquirer. Rob ‘Naughty But Nice’ Shuter breaks celebrity news every day on his website NaughtyGossip.com where he delivers all the dish about the stars we love in his naughty but nice signature style. You can also catch him co-hosting and breaking celebrity news on Good Day New York, The Today Show, The Talk, Wendy Williams Show, CNN, Extra and Z100’s ‘Elvis Duran.’ Previously, Rob was the Huffington Post’s only celebrity columnist and the former executive editor of OK! Magazine. Rob has also hosted his own Saturday night talk show on Mark Cuban’s channel and his own daily morning show, ‘The Gossip Table,’ on VH1! Breaking some of the biggest entertainment stories, including Jamie Lynn Spears’s pregnancy news, Britney’s first post-meltdown interview, Eva Longoria’s wedding, and baby exclusives for Jessica Alba, Tori Spelling and Mathew McConaughey’s tots, Rob always knows where to find the best scoop. Before Rob was one of the world’s most successful entertainment reporters, he was a publicist working for Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys, P. Diddy, Jessica Simpson and Jon Bon Jovi! Now he is bringing all this experience to his new show on I HEART MEDIA in his unique cheeky way, that is always a pinch and never a punch!