Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir by Matthew Perry

Reviewed by Sue DeGregorio-Rosen, RN, CLNC, Contributing Editor



“Hi, my name is Matthew, although you may know me by another name. My friends call me Matty. And I should be dead.”

This is Matthew Perry, acclaimed actor, best known for his part on “Friends”, as the very funny Chandler Bing.  This is not a story for “the faint of heart”… it is a revealing story about his plight and downfall into the depths of his addiction. The story begins from childhood ambition to fame to addiction and recovery in his frightening path that leads to a life-threatening health scare.

Our individual stories are just that…this is Perry’s story, one that could only be told by him – an addict, self-absorbed, who in the very throes of his disease, and after so many setbacks and relapses, discovers a will to survive.

Perry describes his early childhood memories, what it felt like to be an “unaccompanied minor” who had to travel alone in order to spend time with his fractured family that raised him.  But he also details the peace he’s found in sobriety and how he feels about the support and the love he found in working with others of Friends.

Matthew relays perceptions and stories about his cast-mates, and other stars he meets in his life. He tells his story, much within the framework of drug  addiction – an all too familiar story of addiction to opioids, benzodiazepines and alcohol, and the grace of sobriety for those that make it. Humor varies from person to person and under the influence of drugs Perry’s trademark humor makes its own statement. He vividly depicts that lifelong battle with addiction and what fueled it despite seemingly having it all.

Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing is a memoir that is both intimate and eye-opening, and brutally honest, as well as extending a hand to anyone struggling with sobriety. This is a book that is a must read for anyone that suffers from addiction and for those of us that love someone who suffers from addiction.