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How A Classic Fairy Tale Turned Video Game Inspired My Work Life Balance


Kat Mahoney

I'm a modern day Alice, tumbling headfirst into the rabbit hole of life. Always dashing from one tea party to another, with so little time to share my adventures. But between it all, I stumbled upon a revelation on my 50th birthday, one that has set me on a path of self-discovery and fulfillment. In my Fairy Tale, Alice in Wonderland became a mirror to my life, and Alice Madness, a darker version of the tale guided me towards my own destiny.


If you're familiar with the story, Alice in Wonderland is not just a whimsical tale, but a lesson in embracing your true self. Lewis Carroll's characters all represent specific people or disorders. Alice, the protagonist, finds herself in a world that seems to run on chaos and contradictions. Amidst the madness, she is constantly pushed and pulled by societal norms and expectations. Just like her, I too found myself struggling with the pressures of life, always trying to live up to the standards set by others.


Breaking Down The Characters


Cheshire Cat is the "Guide", an important role that makes him feared by the other residents, and is compelled by Alice's inner will to help her unlock her suppressed, traumatic memories and overcome her suicidal depression.


The White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland is not just a cute and quirky character, but a symbol of deeper meanings related to time, anxiety, and societal pressures. Carroll uses the White Rabbit to comment on the fast-paced nature of modern life and the anxieties that can come with it.


The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland actually represented a person suffering from dementia and Borderline Personality Disorder. He displays this among Mally and the Hare. He is constantly changing his mood and one minute is harsh to them, and the next minute he thinks they have the greatest idea ever.


The Queen of Heart according to Alice recalls that the Queen's threats are nonsense, not to mention that she is flat and thin as a playing card, and overcomes her in the end. The Queen seems to symbolize or embody the sometimes nonsensical commands and punishments handed out by society.



Alice in Wonderland vs Alice Madness


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Alice: Madness Returns intertwine the delicate threads of reality and fantasy, weaving a tapestry of both beauty and darkness. As readers delve into Lewis Carroll's whimsical masterpiece, they are transported alongside young Alice, lost in a wonderland teeming with peculiar creatures and nonsensical riddles. In a similar vein, Alice Liddell, the tormented protagonist of the eponymous game, battles her own inner demons within the twisted alleys of her mind's creation. Both tales offer a gripping exploration of identity and resilience, inspiring us to embrace our own complexities and find strength in the midst of chaos.


Alice Madness Entering the Keyhole


A Look Through The Key Hole


Over time, I have come to realize that in my world of Wonderland, the rabbit hole is not a scary place. It is a place of adventure, of discovery, a place that challenges me to be myself. I am Alice, navigating the unpredictable landscape of life, meeting new people, finding my unique strengths, cherishing my quirks, constantly evolving, and overcoming obstacles.


My journey of self-discovery took a turn when I stumbled upon Alice Madness (and Alice Madness Returns), a video game that spins a darker version of the classic tale. Here, Alice is not merely a passive observer of the madness around her; she is an active participant. She is no longer the confused little girl, but a woman who is fiercely determined, brave, and in control. I found myself drawn to this Alice, her steely resolve, her refusal to bow down to the circumstances. She was still the Alice we know and love, but with a spark of madness that made her remarkable.


Alice Madness Returns Cover

And as I delved deeper into the game, I found that I too, had a bit of Alice Madness within me. I began to tap into my strengths, to embrace my quirks, to push back against the norms that had held me back. I discovered a world where I could be myself, without fear of judgement or rejection. And like Alice, I found that my madness was not a weakness, but a strength.


  • I found strength in my vulnerability,

  • courage in my fears,

  • and wisdom in my madness.


I learned to let go of my insecurities, to embrace the chaos, to find beauty in the madness. And as I explored the world of Alice Madness, I found my own path to fulfillment.


Alice Madness entering alternate Wonderland

Finding my Strengths


Just like Alice, I learned to harness my strengths, to use them as a shield against the pressures of life. I found power in my words, comfort in my creativity, and courage in my uniqueness.


Embracing my Quirks

I learned to love my eccentricities, to celebrate my quirks, to be unapologetically myself. I let my madness shine, and in doing so, I found a new sense of freedom and confidence.


Pushing Back Against Norms

I learned to push back against societal norms, to question the status quo, to carve my own path. I embraced the chaos, the unpredictability, the beauty of the madness. And in doing so, I found my path to fulfillment.


The Freedom to be Myself

I found a world where I could be myself, without fear of judgment or rejection. I stopped caring about fitting into a box, about living up to the standards set by others. I embraced my Alice Madness, and in doing so, I found a new sense of self, a new rhythm to my music.


In my journey of self-discovery and fulfillment, I learned that balance is key. Like Alice, I found that I could not exist solely in Wonderland, nor could I ignore it completely. I learned to balance my Alice Madness with my everyday life, to find harmony in the chaos.


Cheshire Cat in Alice Madness

While Alice had Cheshire Cat, I found solace in my Emotional Support Cat named Misaki. Together, we navigated the ups and downs of life, found calm in the storm, and discovered the beauty in the madness.


And just like Alice, I learned that happiness is not a destination, but a journey. It is not about achieving a perfect balance, but about finding a rhythm that works for you. It is about embracing your strengths, celebrating your quirks, and finding fulfillment in being yourself.

And so, I urge you to find your own Alice Madness, to embrace your madness, and to let it guide you in your path to fulfillment. Because at the end of the day, we are all a little mad, and that is what makes us wonderful.


Because in the mad, mad world of Wonderland, the only thing that matters is being true to yourself. And that is the greatest adventure of all.


Alice Madness and the Goblin King Tea Party

Top 3 Lessons Alice Madness Taught Me


Embrace Your Madness: Let go of your fears and insecurities, and embrace your unique strengths and quirks.


Find Your Balance: Learn to balance your Alice Madness with your everyday life, and find a rhythm that works for you.


Seek Support: Find your White Rabbit or your Misaki, someone who can guide you through the ups and downs of life.


With Alice Madness as my guide, I began to find my rhythm, my balance. I started with small changes, like taking time out for myself, indulging in my interests, and embracing my quirks. Slowly but surely, I found myself becoming more comfortable with my Alice Madness, and more at peace with myself.


I learned to navigate the chaotic landscape of Wonderland, to find calm in the storm, to embrace the unpredictable. I learned to let go of societal norms and expectations, to carve my own path, to be unapologetically myself.


And as I journeyed through the maze of Wonderland, I discovered a new sense of self. I found power in my words, comfort in my creativity, and courage in my uniqueness. I found freedom in my madness, and in doing so, I found myself.


And as I embraced my Alice Madness, I found fulfillment. I found my rhythm, my music. And in doing so, I found my path to happiness.


Alice Madness Deep Despression

A Tale of Two Alices: A Comparison

Alice in Wonderland

Alice Madness

Navigates Wonderland passively

Seizes the reins of her own destiny

Struggles with societal expectations

Embraces her unique strengths and quirks

Learns to embrace her true self

Finds power in her madness

In the tale of two Alices, I found my path. I am a modern day Alice between Classic and Madness, and as I embraced them both, I found the words between the tales that helped me I form my own story to happiness.


Alice vs Alice


In moral of this story is that the Key to YOUR Fairy Tale with a Happy Ending is learning to love and accept everything about yourself for a successful Work+Life Balance! Thank you to both Alice's for giving me an amazing incite to self love.

What Fairy Tale can you relate to and why?








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