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Fans are well aware that the 53-year-old actor had struggled with drug and alcohol dependency in the past, but in a new interview with People, Perry revealed some of the more personal aspects of his journey. It’s a teaser for the actor’s upcoming memoir, “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing.”
“I wanted to share when I was safe from going into the dark side of everything again,” he told the publication for their cover story. “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.”
The book begins by describing Perry’s near-death experience a few years ago after his colon burst from opioid abuse. He spent weeks in a coma and then had to use a colostomy bag for nine months, the publication reported.
Perry said, “the doctors told my family that I had a 2 percent 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,” he explained.
The actor also recalled his time on the hit comedy “Friends” and how the fame affected him.
“I could handle it, kind of. But by the time I was 34, I was really entrenched in a lot of trouble,” he said. “But there were years that I was sober during that time. Season 9 was the year that I was sober the whole way through. And guess which season I got nominated for best actor? I was like, ‘That should tell me something.'”
Perry also told People that while on the show, he took 55 Vicodin pills per day, and his weight dropped to 128 pounds.
“I didn’t know how to stop,” the actor said. “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.”
Finally, the actor explained that he was ready to talk about the details now because he is in a much better place. Perry didn’t want to disclose how long he’s been sober, but he described himself as “pretty healthy” right now.
“I’ve got to not go to the gym much more, because I don’t want to only be able to play superheroes,” he told the publication. “But no, I’m a pretty healthy guy right now.”
Perry also said a big reason for him avoiding drugs now is fear of the potential health repercussions. “My therapist said, ‘The next time you think about taking Oxycontin, just think about having a colostomy bag for the rest of your life,'” the actor said. “And a little window opened and I crawled through it and I no longer want Oxycontin anymore.”
Perry’s memoir “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing” is out November 1.