Oh My God! I just finished listening to the audiobook Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry and I was blown away. I know people have mixed reviews about it, and my affection for him may have influenced my perspective, however, I DON'T CARE...I loved it. Of course, I loved him in FRIENDS, Fools Rush In (1997), The Whole Nine Yards (2000), and The Whole Ten Yards (2004). Hearing him read such a personal account of his life, his struggles, his childhood, his dreams and accomplishments was so very special to me. It not only gave me a greater appreciation for him, but for other actors who struggle with depression and addiction. They build a whole career around entertaining and making other people happy, while inside they are miserable.
In this very detailed autobiography Matthew walks us through his childhood in Canada, his parents, and how he became the person he is today. We watched him every week on Thursday nights in the late 90s steal the spotlight with his funny and sarcastic lines, while he struggled with alcohol, drug addiction, and crippling insecurities. I think he did an excellent job in describing not only the events and timelines, but also his feelings at every stage. The book really paints a picture that makes you care for everything he is going through, and being a hardcore FRIENDS fan myself, it felt like I was re-living it all with him. He constantly referenced many popular events, show or movie clips that I remember, forever changing my perspective of each.
I re-watch FRIENDS at least once a year, so I know the scenes will look different next time around, just because I know what was happening in his life during a particular season or scene. However, I have to say the connection to his life and his work is not what I loved the most about this book. What I loved the most, was hearing Perry experiencing the God I know and love. He didn't pretend in any way to be religious, but in his darkest times he called on God and he not only felt His presence or God watching over him, but he experienced in a very real way God's spirit and love. He described a moment in his kitchen where he prayed to God for help, which was not the first time, and he saw a light slowly engulf him in peace and love. Of course, anyone can say he must have been under the influence of something, which is totally possible. But I've had similar experiences in my life without the influence of any narcotic or alcohol, and when it happened there was no doubt in my mind or in my soul that I was in the presence of greatness. That kind of experience changes you. It may not change the circumstances, but it changes you. It is unforgettable. When you hear someone describe the same experience, all you can do is cry in gratefulness for yourself and for the person experiencing it. Yep, I was crying.
I wholeheartedly recommend everyone to read this book and make their on conclusions. I also wish everyone who struggles with addiction will get a chance to read or hear this book. That if they do, it will not only make them feel seen, but that it also give them hope.