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Patton Oswalt Says Daughter Saved Him From Being ‘a Shut-in Alcoholic’

The comedian opens up about grief following the death of his wife

Patton Oswalt credits one special person for helping him persevere through a rough patch of his life: his daughter.

Oswalt, known for his work on the ’90s sitcom, “The King of Queens,” opened up about grief in an interview with Playboy. The comedian and writer lost his wife, Michelle McNamara, in 2016 to a sudden illness. Last month, he announced his engagement to actress, Meredith Salenger.

In the interview with Playboy, Oswalt talked about how caring for his seven-year-old daughter, Alice, saved him. “I’m forever glad that I have Alice,” he said. “If I hadn’t had a daughter and my wife died, we wouldn’t be talking right now. I’m not saying I would be dead, but I would be a shut-in alcoholic.”

Oswalt also said, “[With] Alice, it was and is ‘You got to get up.’ There are mornings when we’re late to school because I’m sad, but I’ve still f–ing got to get up. A night when I’ve had maybe one scotch with some friends, I’ll say, ‘That’s it. I’ve got to take her to school tomorrow.'”

“If there were no reason to wake up, I would be morbidly obese. I’d be rewatching movies I’ve seen a million times, and I would have wallowed and sealed myself off in a falsely comforting bath of despair.”

Oswalt also opens up about the horrors of grief and the loss of a loved one: “Depression is not terrifying. Depression is seductive and comforting. It sticks around so long because it creates this false sense of ‘Oh, here’s where I’m safe.’ Grief is like depression’s drill sergeant. It knows the tricks that depression doesn’t know. Grief is like, ‘Hey, depression, I taught you everything you know, but I didn’t teach you everything I know. Here, watch what I can do.'”