Matthew Perry’s Addictions:

Friends, Lovers, the Big Terrible Thing and an inspiring legacy to help other addicts…

 

What happened to Matthew Perry?

Beloved actor Matthew Perry, famous for his role in the sitcom ‘Friends,’ sadly passed away at the age of 54. While onscreen, Perry was the charming, heartwarming, and hilarious Chandler Bing (whom the world fell in love with). Behind the camera, Perry struggled with self-love and commitment issues and had many demons including smoking, alcohol and opioid addictions, and multiple stints in rehabilitation.

In this Wisdom Room article, we explore Perry’s well-documented turbulent relationship with these addictions and how he used hypnosis to help him heal one of them and discuss techniques that may help you or loved ones who may be struggling too.

Matthew Perry’s Memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing

Matthew Perry was pretty open about his struggles with addiction and in his candid, funny, and revelatory memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing it starts with the poignant prologue: “Hi, my name is Matthew, although you may know me by another name. My friends call me Matty. And I should be dead.”

He recounted in the book how his substance abuse issues started when he was just a teenager and how skyrocketing to fame as Chandler Bing in Friends escalated his alcohol and drug problems. At one point, according to the book, he took up to 55 pain pills a day and his weight fluctuated from 225 pounds to 128.

Matthew Perry’s Colon Explosion: A Life Hanging in the Balance

In 2018, while in rehabilitation Perry described how his colon ‘exploded’ because of opiate abuse, requiring seven-hour surgery and meaning he was given a 2% chance of making it through the first night. Thankfully, he did, but he spent the next two weeks in an induced coma and was eventually required to wear a colostomy bag for months on end. Something that most people were totally unaware of at the time.

Matthew Perry Hypnotherapy and the Subconscious Mind

When certain repetitive behaviour makes us feel uncomfortable, lacking in control or has the potential to cause these negative or even life-threatening consequences we often realise it’s a neon warning sign to change our life. But what the subconscious has dutifully learned by repetition and association over time, often doesn’t respond immediately to a conscious decision to stop. The subconscious learns well. Too well sometimes! And it is programmed to remember our instructions regardless of whether it’s a good or a bad habit. This is where Matthew Perry struggled and hypnotherapy really helped.

Matthew Perry decides to stop smoking for good

After years of abusing his body, when Perry’s lung specialist warned him about the dire consequences of his smoking habit too, Matthew Perry decided to use hypnotherapy to try and help him also beat this addiction. Initially doubtful, Perry said he felt little during his first hypnotherapy session. However, a breakthrough occurred during the next session when the US hypnotherapist working with Perry struck a deep chord. Determined to take action, Perry defiantly soaked the remaining pack of cigarettes under a running tap symbolizing his unwavering commitment to quitting.

Positive and negative smoking anchors

Essentially there are two main ways to break the smoking habit. 1. Is to use negative hypnotic anchors (or scare tactics) to repulse a smoker and make them so fearful about the habit that they feel compelled to stop. Or 2. Is to use positive anchors (or self-care tactics) to encourage a smoker to visualize how their life and body would be so much better if they were smoke-free. While both approaches can be powerful and have a strong impact. Here at the Wisdom Room, our ethos is heart-based hypnotherapy, so we find that encouraging clients to move into a love-based, solution-focused, healing space rather than a fear-based approach is the most effective and rewarding way to make lasting change. (See our Stop Smoking Secret Solution programme).

Matthew Perry’s struggle: Triumphs and setbacks

In his memoir, Perry candidly revealed the depth of his struggles and the desperate measures he took in his unwavering pursuit of a smoke-free life. Although Perry initially succeeded with hypnotherapy, his addiction resurfaced after his painful surgery and he was pulled back into the grasp of his addiction. Nonetheless, Perry recognized the positive changes in him during his smoke-free periods and this fuelled his determination to strive and quit for good.

What happens if you fall off the bandwagon?

It’s important to talk here about what happens if you do fall off the bandwagon. Most people trying to stop a habit (like smoking) often attempt to quit multiple times before they kick the habit for good. So, it’s important to emphasize that a slip-up doesn’t mean that all your hard work is wasted or that you are a failure. Each and every attempt to quit that bad habit leads you that much closer to success. Rather than punishing yourself. Ask yourself, ‘What can I learn from this mistake?’ Look at what happened and what you said to yourself right before the lapse in judgment. Identify the trigger or trouble spot you ran into and decide how you can cope with that issue better next time round.

Hypnotherapy for addiction issues

Whether you’ve got an embarrassing habit such as nail biting, skin picking, or hair pulling, an addiction to shopping, gambling, alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes or recreational or prescription drugs. Hypnotherapy for addiction issues can help you to address the root of the problem, change the way you think, and ultimately allow you to break free from the mental chains that keep you addicted.
A bad habit or addiction is simply an automatic way of responding to a given stimulus or trigger. Although consciously we might know that a negative action like smoking, drug taking or excessive alcohol consumption is bad for us, we keep doing it because on a subconscious level, it gives a perceived feeling of relief from our negative internal state. But you don’t have to suffer in silence.

Conclusion: A Cautionary Tale of Addiction’s Grip

It’s fair to say that Matthew Perry’s struggles serve as a strong reminder of the power addiction can hold over any of us regardless of our, status, fame or fortune. Much like his career in the spotlight, his addiction journey was filled with both successes and setbacks and it’s sad that such a shining light and talented actor was taken from us so early.

Despite his own intense challenges, Perry said that his recovery journey left him with a prevailing sense of duty to help others walking similar paths and he became a strong advocate for addiction recovery. He even converted his own Malibu mansion into a sober living house and received the Champion of Recovery award from the White House and became a spokesperson for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.

Matthew Perry’s inspiring legacy

In the final years of his life, he wanted to leave a legacy of inspiring and helping other addicts overcome life’s most difficult hurdles. “I’ve said this for a long time: When I die, I don’t want ‘Friends’ to be the first thing that’s mentioned,” he said. “I want [helping people] to be the first thing that’s mentioned. And that’s why it’s so important that we keep his memory alive in this way.

Matthew’s story emphasizes the importance of seeking help and support when facing our own addiction challenges. So, if you feel like you need a little extra support right now – do get in touch. Please find more information about how the Wisdom Room can help with Addictions, Habits and further details about our brand-new Smoking Smoking Online Course STOP SMOKING SECRET SOLUTION.

 

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