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Dedication to a Friend(s).

You were there for us.

By Eva SmittePublished 7 months ago • 6 min read
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A certain version of this article has been sitting in my drafts for some time now. There were all these excuses; I couldn’t find the time to finish it, the inspiration would fluctuate, I couldn’t make up my mind on the title, jumping between “An ode to Friends” or “Dedication to Friends”; a trivial detail really. The only thing I was fully decided on, was a subtitle. “I’ll be there for you”; an echo of the song during the opening titles of the series , that made its way into the hearts of millions in the 90’s, 00’s and beyond. In the retrospect, it is very likely I was simply worried that I won’t be able to describe the full pallet when it comes to how I felt about this iconic show, as well as what it meant to a whole generation. The task felt like very large shoes to fill.

As of today, none of that seems to matter anymore. My very favourite character, to be more precise a man who played him and brought his spirit to life on our screens, is no more. He left this planet; and while this makes me so very sad, it also inspires me to finally sit down, write and actually publish . I had to take a detour of course, and edit the old text, making him the main character of today’s piece, with others being more of a supportive act, which I’m sure they wouldn’t mind in the slightest. So this is simultaneously a dedication to a world famous sitcom, as well as the life of its golden boy - Chandler Bing, also known as Matthew Perry.

Ironically , as you will see below, he didn’t want to be known primarily for his acting. I myself learned about this other side of Matthew as a result of the heartbreaking news, which then inspired me further. So here is my written celebration of a person we knew as Chandler, a man we wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for all six of those talented people, who gifted us with so much joy over the years. P.S. I kept the original photo as a main image as it is one of my favourite ones of the whole group; it feels authentic, warm, cozy and soulful, and those words to me were the essence of their bond. Like a blanket and hot chocolate combo that comforts you on a rainy day and reminds you that you’re not alone.

The below are very touching words by Matthew Perry, which may or may not come as a surprise to you:

Source - Internet

Chandler Bing, the guy who made me laugh, from the show that made me feel safe when the world felt terrifying; “they were there for me” when no one else was. And Chandler’s humour had the ability to brighten even a darkest day. I always had a little crush on him, both due to his wit, as well as his boyish charm that was so very attractive. We also shared the same birthday with the actor Matthew Perry - 19.08. ♌️ But as you can see from the caption above , he was so much more than just a funny and charming guy.

It is not a secret for anyone that Matthew was battling several addictions, even back when he made us all laugh. He was clearly very gifted when it came to entertainment. Perhaps none of us suspected at first that apparently even in those early days, he would have panic attacks about learning his lines. I suppose mental health wasn’t spoken about or understood nearly as much back then as it is now, which makes me feel even more compassion and respect towards him.

I remember observing changes on his face as the episodes of everyone’s favourite TV show were gaining more and more popularity globally. Happy go lucky sunny predisposition that literally radiated from him, and that we all so adored seeing in Chandler, seemed to gradually be replaced by a look of tiredness, as if he was carrying more and more weight on his shoulders as the time went by. He still did his job well however, despite clearly struggling behind the scenes.

Then for many years we didn’t see them together, until their reunion in 2021, which I didn’t watch, but did see many images from it. It is hard for me to judge what he was like during it, based on pictures alone. Apparently at some point there was a display of emotion in the form of tears, a vulnerable moment for Matthew, who then was comforted by Jennifer Anniston. Not sure why I didn’t feel like watching the reunion episode, but I do know that I would have wanted to see him happy and full of energy; he was Chandler after all, and if he wasn’t smiling, what hope was there for the rest of us?

And while on the face value it may seem that perhaps he has lost the fight with his demons, and darkness potentially overpowered his light; looking at his words in front of me, I disagree. Matthew used his pain as a stepping stone to help others, and unlike his famous character, it wasn’t limited to using humour in order to avoid facing heavy, negative emotions. Supporting others who struggle with the very same thing he did, in my books is a huge achievement, and the one he wanted to be remembered for first and foremost.

Addiction is a tough beast, and in my (and several established trauma experts) opinion, it never just appears out of nowhere; it is there to fill a void. Trauma is the opening we so desperately try to close by all means available, no matter how toxic. I briefly looked at his childhood history and wasn’t surprised in the slightest by what I saw. When a child feels chronically unloved, unwanted, emotionally or physically abandoned, this unmet need is bound to manifest down the line as this or that dysfunctional behaviour. Or “functional” according to society, as his acting achievement could have also been a result of a desperate attempt to get the attention that his caretakers didn’t give him.

I could write on this subject for hours, but you get the point. Chandler Bing/Matthew Perry , you might have felt lonely and lost while in human form, but you made so many people feel better about themselves that your mission has been accomplished.

Source- Pinterest

And now a bit of the original content of this story. “Friends” is the only show that I inevitably go back to, no matter how many times I have seen it. Familiarity does not breed boredom in this case, quite the opposite. It is like seeing old friends after some time apart, it’s warm, it’s fun and it’s safe.

To say that these series are iconic is a an understatement, to say that they are the best of all times is perhaps a bit cheesy. Nonetheless, despite the very first episode coming out more than thirty years ago, the popularity of six New Yorkers having coffees on a big sofa doesn’t seem to fade, and the success of the show is like a legend, the magic of which is hard to reenact.

I remember once upon a time, a therapist asked me during a session - “I wonder what is it about “Friends” that is so appealing to you? Perhaps their bond was showing me what a safe, secure attachment looks like. Perhaps I recognised myself in some of them. The characters seemed to have an innocence about them, despite sometimes making mistakes, there was a certain purity which I find is rare in the modern TV world. The female character I most identified with was Phoebe; lighthearted and funny, yet a survivor of some heavy stuff in her past. Long story short, their charm was in their authenticity, sometimes naive, sometimes goofy, always fun. And so very adorable.

And despite one of the six friends leaving the party early, I will always have fond memories of them being there for one another.

Source - Pinterest

This is how I will always remember you, handsome and full of life, with a mischievous look in your eyes and a sunny predisposition that was able to make the whole planet smile. You were there for us ♥️ Now rest in peace Angel.

P.S. Could you BE any more missed? 🫶🏼

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About the Creator

Eva Smitte

Writer, model, mental health advocate. Instagram @eva_smitte

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