For Matty (a post about sobriety)

Dear Matthew Perry, I watched your interview with Diane Sawyer the other night.

It was part-heartbreaking, part-glorious, part-bittersweet.

All those emotions I know well.

The heartbreaking?

That’s how I feel when I look back over the stupid sins of my past, thinking about all the hurt I caused, the harsh words I said and the dumb moves I made, the lives that very well could have been lost, including my own, when I was drinking to fill the hole in my heart.

The glorious?

It’s how I feel when I’m on the mountaintop, soaking up the sunny side of sobriety, enjoying a new life full of clear moments, and genuine laughs, and mornings not regretting the night before.

The bittersweet?

This is where I live too much, in the little sting of regret that happens when I think of what I let fly by. All these precious moments with my husband, kids and family, time I could have been on that mountaintop soaking up the sun, but instead was in the valley, licking wounds from my past that wouldn’t heal.

As I was watching your interview with Diane, I couldn’t help but to think maybe you’re living in the valley right now, too.

People might wonder how you could be there. You have a book release! You probably have royalties galore! A life of Hollywood success, right?

But that’s not how you feel, is it?

Because all you’re thinking about is how you could have done A to make B turn out differently, and how C would have led to D if you’d done E…

I know. It’s exhausting.

Matthew Perry, I know you’re a famous guy and I’m just a wife and mom sitting on my couch typing on a computer.

But I want you to hear this:

There are far more victorious days ahead than any regrets that lay behind you.

Choose to live for today. Wake up every morning, soak in the sunny side of sobriety, and when a thought about the past enters your head, pick up the good memory and toss out the bad.

No, really. I do it all the time. And it’s changed my life for the better.

You see, we have power over our thoughts. We get to choose which to keep and which to let go.

And the crazy thing about life is that it’s never all good or all bad. All these peaks and valleys get mixed in together, and it’s up to us to decided what will stay and what will be buried for good.

Remember that show? The decade-long one that everyone loved? The friends you made, the laughs you shared? Keep it.

The days spent drowning in substance abuse? Toss.

The love of your parents and family? Hold it.

The words that might have been said in anger? Let it go.

We have opportunities every day to make life a blessing or a curse. Choose the blessing.

Though I have no idea whether you love God or don’t practice religion, I believe we serve a Creator of the Universe who fashioned you exactly as you are.

There is no other Matthew Perry on Earth.

Highs and lows, you’re here for a plan and a purpose.

And you are good.

Celebrate your victories, forget your failures, rise above the noise.

Keep on being you.

See you soon,


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