Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Promoted Blog: How Max Payne saved me from myself

4:00 PM on 10.16.2012 // vApathyv

"All I ever did in life was sit in my room, alone, downing entire bottles of liquor on my own, for no other reason than because I didn't want to deal with my life."

[In what may be the most personal c-blog I've ever read, vApathyv talks about how playing Max Payne 3 helped him realize he had a problem with alcohol abuse. Want to get featured on the front page? Get writing. -Spencer Hayes.]

What I am about to share with you is a very personal, very painful retelling of a hard portion of my life. I've since overcome it, but it is a dark stain on my past that I will unfortunately never live down. However, I feel comfortable in sharing it and hope that it is a story worth reading. Everyone always likes to talk about their favorite characters in gaming. The badasses. The grand hero. The lovable villain. The quirky sidekick. We all have favorites, it's natural. But a question was asked to me today that made me consider something else, something deeper about the connections we have with the stars of those games that we love/loathe so much. 

A simple question, but it could lead to many responses. But when I saw it, only one thing came to mind...

...Max Payne.

Now, before you start laughing and dismiss this as a joke, allow me to clarify. I'm not referring to his guns-blazing bravado. I'm not referring to the tragedies that have befell him in the past three games. I'm referring to the manner in which he decided to deal with those tragedies and problems in his life. Not the violence part either.

I'm referring to the alcohol abuse.

Back when Max Payne 3 released, I was in perhaps the deepest pit of my entire 22 years of life so far. Everything was falling apart around me: My relationships with both friends and family were incredibly strained, I was at risk of losing my job, I had fallen into a deep depression the likes of which not even my medications were helping me to deal with. So I made the worst mistake of my life: I decided that I would drown out every problem I had in my life with alcohol. I stopped drinking to have fun, stopped being the person that some Dtoiders know as "Swagathy". I was using booze as a crutch. A temporary escape from the harsh realities I'd been dealing with, knowing damn well that they'd still be there as soon as I was sober again. But I didn't care. I would drink. And drink. And drink some more, until literally all I ever did in life was sit in my room, alone, downing entire bottles of liquor on my own, for no other reason than because I didn't want to deal with my life. I didn't want to face reality, conquer my problems, and actually move on, I just wanted to see who'd stop floating and drown first: My problems, or my liver. It was the worst time of my life and even thinking about it now I'm reminded of visions of who I was. Visions of passing out on the floor because I couldn't make it up the stairs to my room. Visions of getting behind the wheel because I just didn't care. Visions of waking up and tripping over empty rum bottles.

During this time, Max Payne 3 launched. I'd never played the series before, but I knew Rockstar had an incredible knack for storytelling and despite not really paying attention to any pre-release information I decided to pick it up anyways because I wanted a new game to play. Now I had a basic idea of what happened in the two games prior: Basically Max's life was miserable and he had lost his family. That was all the knowledge I had. When I first started the game I noticed a very peculiar thing, a very striking thing. One that hit home: His problems haunted him and he was dealing with it in the worst way possible. I watched as this character that I had never really experienced before or knew too much about would basically ignore his life and well being in favor of drinking his ills away. How everything that seemed to go wrong during the story was almost a direct result of his drinking. How he would go home each night and drink himself comatose. For me, it was jarring. It hit me like a god damn brick. This video game character, this fictional being in a fictional world doing fictional things, had a very real problem that I shared with him. It horrified me. Like looking into a mirror. And I didn't like what I saw. I was disturbed. The game actually became hard for me to play. I was experiencing a virtual representation of my problems, my vices, my addictions. And it made me ill.

As I progressed through the story I was both amazed and terrified at how much I could relate to this man. Now, as I was playing this game, back in the real world I had also begun making strides towards correcting my problem. I was regaining a grip on my life, and regaining a grip on my self-control. I was slowly becoming better again, to the point where I actually stopped drinking for a while. And around that time a pivotal moment happened in the story where Max decided enough was enough, and that he was gonna drop the bottle and take his life back. When this happened, I was floored. This character that I've been so connected to this whole time...he was taking the same steps I did. I had no words. I still have no words to describe the feeling I had during that scene. But the one thing I can say about that scene is, it inspired me. I could probably say Max rejecting his demons and vices is what led to me doing the same. I think I can honestly admit that Max Payne is who saved me from my addiction.

Fast forward to now, I've managed to stay on that path. I won't lie: I still drink. But I don't drink for the wrong reasons anymore, and I don't drink as heavily as I used to. Like Max, I found self-control. Like Max, I faced my problems, my traumas, my tragedies, my realities, and accepted them as life. And like Max, in the end, I found happiness. As I sit here typing this I know that I'm typing this to an, FAMILY, of people that love and appreciate me. Surrounded by friends, family, and a renewed appreciate of life. I haven't solved all my problems, but I've found far better ways to cope than searching for the last drop at the bottom of the bottle. And I think Max Payne is the one that helped me do that. We were one and the same at the time: We wouldn't listen to anyone that talked to us about our problems, we lost friends and loved ones because of it, and we were just being cowards and hiding behind substances to avoid life. But, we also found salvation from that fate. He helped me. He saved me. And, you know, it's a stupid thought, but sometimes I like to think that maybe we helped each other.

Now THAT you can laugh at and dismiss as a joke.

 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Haven't been around a few days. Getting over a cold and working on a review for Superbeat: Xonic on Vita. Starting to feel better, I think / hope.
inspavo avatarinspavo
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
So I'm almost done with my first play through of Undertale and... It's okay. It's in no way bad (and I'm enjoying it more than Fallout 4 which in also playing) but feel... It was overhyped I suppose? Not sure really... Maybe a second play though will help
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Sometimes I wonder why I care. To simply have more vitriol and misery as my reward, to suffer ingrates and fools. That in all I do I'm never afforded the same respect or kindness. Let it be then, and let pain follow. I'm done with this shit.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
I was telling this dead baby joke at dinner tonight, and this lady I don't recognize says, "I'm sorry. That joke isn't funny to me, I have two dead children." At this point, I went over my options in my head and settled with telling her the joke twice.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I really wish the slowpokes at Microsoft would add Forza Horizon to Xbox One backwards compatibility.... It's my favorite racing game. And the soundtrack is honestly flawless.
Parismio avatarParismio
Some green tea and Mario Kart w/ family is a great way to end the day.
KingSigy avatarKingSigy
Honestly, Broforce might be my GOTY. It's really fucking amazing.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Welp, Remote Play is coming to PCs. Calling it now, PS Now enabled toasters and glasses will be announced at the next big Playstation event alongside cute Vita coffins made of paper you can print out of your Remote Play capable printers.
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
How did your Thanksgiving small talk with obscure relatives go? Oh, I bonded over the ethereal experience of hydrogen peroxide in ear canals but they'd never heard of Chrono Trigger so we mostly chewed the corn-flakes-on-potato thing in silence
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Don't forget [img][/img]
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
I wonder how far the show would be taken out of context if the lyrics were "Go, Go Power Rangers, you Mighty Morphine Power Rangers."
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
I just tried out Skyforge, and... [img][/img]
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Is it weird I finally want a Samurai Warriors game because I think Koshosho is super fab? [img][/img]
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
I've never cleaned my comp in the 3-4 years I have had it. Soon I will dust it. I....I dont know what I will find, hidden in the dust.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Happy late thanksgiving Dtoid. I played Doodle God and Murasaki Baby on PSVita, and am now Achievement grinding in Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast and Furious on Xbox One. Super easy 1000G, I need it.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Black Friday pick ups so far are Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, Titan Souls and tomorrow Devil Survivor 2 Break Record ($29.99 at GameStop).
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
This thanksgiving, give thanks for the fact that your family wasnt 1 of the 3 to have picked out a wasp filled turkey, buying a meal and becoming a meal. Next year, may not bring such.....dissapointing results.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
So I'm pretty sure you all should be giving thanks to Nekro. For he is the one true perfect being. Be thankful that your lives have been blessed by the addition of a Nekro. For that is the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
Happy Thanksgiving Dtoid! Here's hoping you didn't fall off a chair while hanging Christmas lights and bash your shin and foot into the concrete like I did!
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -