Patton Oswalt's daughter saved him from being "a shut-in alcoholic".

Patton Oswalt

Patton Oswalt

The 48-year-old comedian was devastated when his wife Michelle McNamara tragically passed away in April last year from a combination of prescription medication and an undiagnosed heart condition, and believes the only reason he has kept himself from turning to drink is because of their eight-year-old daughter Alice.

He said: "I'm forever glad that I have Alice. 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."

Alice's school routine meant Patton wasn't able to drink as he had to take her to school in the morning, and the star believes having a "reason to get up" saved him from falling into depression.

He added: "Everything would have shut down. I wouldn't have been about anything. But 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. 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.'"

Now, Patton is engaged to his partner Michelle Salenger, and has praised her for making him feel "secure and calm".

Speaking to Playboy magazine, Patton said: "If I really boil it down, she brings me -- and I've rarely experienced this with someone -- excitement and calm, which sounds contradictory. I'm excited, but because she gives me something that is so secure and calming, I don't have to question and worry about it. There are no mind games. I'm calm enough to let the excitement really grow, you know?"