'Had sh** all over my face': Matthew Perry used colostomy bag for 9 months as colon burst from opiate overdose

'Had sh** all over my face': Matthew Perry used colostomy bag for 9 months as colon burst from opiate overdose
Matthew Perry details his struggle with alcoholism and drug addiction in his new memoir (Frederick M Brown/Getty Images)

MALIBU, CALIFORNIA: Matthew Perry, one of the main stars of 'Friends', has detailed his struggles with drug addiction in his new memoir. The 53-year-old has recalled when his colon burst 4 years ago due to an opiate overdose, and the difficulties of having to wear a colostomy bag. The actor recently disclosed that he suffered a gastrointestinal perforation, which required him to use a colostomy bag for nine months. After spending two weeks in a coma on life support, doctors gave him a two percent chance of survival.

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The 'Friends' alum shared a passage from his upcoming memoir, 'Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing' which hits bookshelves on November 1, in a recent interview with GQ, in which he describes waking up "covered in" his own excrement 50 to 60 times. He also said that throughout his five-month hospital stay after his colon ruptured, he would frequently wake up to find his colostomy bag had "broken again." "I had sh** all over my face, all over my body, in the bed next door. When it breaks, it breaks. You have to get nurses," he detailed. 

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When the time came to remove his colostomy bag, he was horrified to discover that the procedure had originally failed and that an ileostomy bag had been put in its place. "Ten times worse. You have to deal with an ileostomy bag 18, 19 times a day. A lot of suicides with an ileostomy bag. People can't take it," he said. 


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The actor claims that shortly later, he had surgery, which "fixed things", and that since then, he has "lived without" a colostomy bag for a "long time." Perry expressed his gratitude while getting used to the fact that his body had "plenty of scars."

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"I look at them with gratitude, because it helped me stay alive. But I have to live my life 24/7 with all of this scar tissue I'm constantly aware of. It feels like I'm doing a sit-up at full stretch all the time," he explained.

Perry said that he was "disturbed" and "burst into tears" when he first took his shirt off following his hospital stay because he felt as though his "life was over." About 30 minutes later, Perry admits he called his drug dealer to feel better. He decided to try to become clean as a result in a different treatment facility, this one in Switzerland, where he almost passed away once more when his heart stopped for a whole five minutes.

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Perry is hesitant to specify how long he has been sober, saying only that "it's been a little while" since he last relapsed as he continues to put his health first.

"I’m less ruled by fear now. One of the things I learned is I can handle when bad things happen now. I’m resilient, I am strong, and those things should come very clearly to the reader in the book as well. I am a strong man and I never gave myself credit for that, ever. But now I’m slowly starting to," he noted.

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From left to right, David Schwimmer, as Ross, Matt LeBlanc, as Joey, and Matthew Perry as Chandler act in a scene from the television comedy
From left to right, David Schwimmer, as Ross, Matt LeBlanc, as Joey, and Matthew Perry as Chandler act in a scene from the television comedy "Friends" during the seventh season of the show (Photo by NBC/Newsmakers)

In previous interviews, Perry had claimed that his alcoholism and drug abuse had started when he took up the role of Chandler Bing in the iconic TV show, 'Friends'. He acknowledges that at one time in his 'Friends' career, he was using 55 Vicodin a day and weighed 128 pounds, but he "didn't know how to stop".

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"It's no accident that Chandler is a guy who is trying to deter his own human emotional feelings with laughter. That’s what I did for years. I've tried to palm myself off as being a jokester, kind of like hanging out with me is kind of like a vacation. But that could only take me so far."

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