US actor Matthew Perry, who played Chandler Bing on the classic NBC sitcom “Friends”, has told the world what was his first ever prayer request.
In an interview with US presenter Diane Sawyer, the actor said he had asked God to ‘make him famous’.
“God, you can do whatever you want to me; just please make me famous,” he said.
“That was the first time I ever prayed, and I look back at it as a dumb prayer, like a prayer of like a really young person.”
Perry has been previously described as “non-religious”.
Perry, who has recently published a book about his addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs and his journey to sobriety, also shared his struggles with his parents’ divorce and the moment he drank first bottle of wine as a 14-year-old.
“I lay in the grass and just was in Heaven. And I thought to myself, ‘This must be the way that normal people feel all the time,” he said.
By the time he was 18, Perry was already drinking every day. The habit only got worse as gained celebrity status with the success of the FRIENDS series.
Behind the scenes he lived a torturous battle of heavy addiction, he told Diane Sawyer in a Nightline interview
“‘God, please help me,’ I whispered. ‘Show me that you are here. God, please help me,'” he recounts in his memoir.
He continued, “As I kneeled, the light slowly began to get bigger, and bigger until it was so big that it encompassed the entire room…What was happening? And why was I starting to feel better?”
“I started to cry,” he explained. “I mean, I really started to cry – that shoulder-shaking kind of uncontrollable weeping. I wasn’t crying because I was sad. I was crying because, for the first time in my life, I felt OK. I felt safe, taken care of. Decades of struggling with God, and wrestling with life, and sadness, all was being washed away, like a river of pain gone into oblivion.”
“I had been in the presence of God. I was certain of it. And this time I had prayed for the right thing: help,” Perry said.
An opioid overdose led to a burst colon and an extended hospital stay, the Daily Citizen reported.
“I was given a 2 percent chance to survive the night,” Perry told HBO’s Bill Maher. “They didn’t tell me that, obviously, because I wasn’t really there, but they told my family. And I was put on a thing called an ECMO [Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation] machine. … They call that a hail Mary. … Five people were on ECMO that night, and the other four died, and I somehow made it.”
The 53-year-old revealed that he had gone into to rehab 15 different times but has now finally come out of the other side.
Perry credited that encounter with God as the reason he stayed sober for the next two years.
“God had shown me a sliver of what life could be. He had saved me that day, and for all days, no matter what. He had turned me into a seeker, not only of sobriety, and truth but also of him,” Perry wrote.
(Picture Courtesy: Reuters)