Listen to Matthew Perry
A friend, Patty W., posted this in our group and I think it’s important to share with more people. Recently, Matthew Perry (actor from the show Friends) wrote a book about his addiction and recovery. Sometimes celebrities write books to make money, revive their career or get their name in the media. I believe Matthew wrote this book to help people. I saw him being interviewed by Diane Sawyer about the book and got the same impression - he wrote it to get a message across.
Here’s what Patty posted today:
I just finished Matthew Perry’s book “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing”. Several things really resonated with me.
- Regarding rehab centers he said, “My own experiences and years of conversations with other addicts has led me to believe that most of these places are pieces of shit anyway. They are hell bent on taking advantage of sick needy people and cashing paychecks. The whole system is corrupt and completely fucked up.”￼￼
- Regarding the addict’s brain he said “When an addict takes a pill, they feel euphoric.”￼ That’s the difference between an addict’s brain and a “Normie”.
- About addiction “Addiction, the big terrible thing, is far too powerful for anyone to defeat alone.”￼
I’m so glad I never took the advice to kick (her son) out. Someone once told me to drop him off at Skid Row. I believe I would have lost him much sooner had I listened to this person.
Even with all his money, Matthew almost lost his battle with alcohol and addiction.
I resonate with those three things as well. The drug treatment industry is known for being corrupt. Not all are terrible, but I think it’s the norm. I went bankrupt paying for Keven’s treatment even though I had help from Therese and my mom. Obviously, none of them helped him. The response is usually “he didn’t try hard enough” but I know there was more to it than that.
Some places were so obviously corrupt - the female counselor having sex with the male clients, everyone turning their heads if someone was high just to keep collecting the money, the place that tolerated a client physically abusing another client…to name a few. Several places he went got shut down for insurance fraud.
The worst place he went was out of pure desperation on my part. We searched for days and couldn’t find any place I could afford or that took his insurance. Finally he went to an apartment building in Santa Ana (a city known for drugs, gangs and crime). The “owner” only took cash. I walked around inside when I dropped Keven off and it was basically a bunch of people lying around watching TV, handing out or sleeping. He called me after two days and said he was offered drugs and wanted out of there, so I went and got him.
Matthew also mentions that it’s far too powerful to defeat alone. I see this over and over. I honestly don’t know if it’s the 12 Steps, the fellowship or the combination of both, but AA helps tons of people. For those that aren’t comfortable with AA’s 12 Step program, there are other options out there now. It seems to me that the fellowship - that tight knit community of people who “get” each other - is the key.
Lastly, Matthew mentions the addict’s brain - how it’s different from “Normies” (this is the term used for anyone who doesn’t suffer from the disease of addiction). I won’t fill the page with scientific research that explains all this, but it’s been proven even though some people still ignorantly call addiction “a choice.”
You may find it hard to believe that someone suggested that Patty drop her son off at Skid Row. This is not unusual. There are many people who still believe in tough love. I know a couple who dropped their son off there and were proud to say they hadn’t talked to him in years! I feel the exact way Patty does. We both lost our only sons, but we gave them unconditional love and support right up to the end.
Thank you, Patty and Matthew Perry for sharing these important messages.