New Year Same Smell


Right now life kind of sucks, and I don’t just mean because the elderly Oompa-Loompa is about to be the president of the United States either. No, for old Josh the end of 2015 and all of 2016 have been a really bad time. But I’m guessing if you’ve been following any of my ramblings over the last 15 months you’re already aware of this.

So for all of you Johnny-come-lately’s, and fashionably-late-Tammy’s, I’ll give you a brief run down without sounding too much like a whiny bitch although I make no promises. Also, I will not be addressing family issues in this essay there are too many things too close to the surface for me to touch at this point without setting off an unintentional, or let's be honest a very intentional, eruption. Suffice it to say there are enough things going on in my personal life to fill several essays and a handful of pamphlets and leave it at that.

As for my work, well as of January 13th, 2017 we’ve closed Gorillas With Scissors Press, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that’s been a kick in the nuts. I’m still a full-time writer and nothing will change that, but I am no longer a publisher, and that hurts. But in the broad view of my career this a hiccup and if it were the only thing going on it would be sad, but I can handle it. That said, add my family stress and my depression/bipolar disorder to the mix, and you can see how the blows and stresses seem to stack higher than I can see or contemplate.

Okay now onto the real issues… deep breath, and start!

I decided in December of 2016 that if things were not significantly better by that same time in January, I’d kill myself. This isn’t said to startle the reader or to elicit some sort of sympathetic response in order to get me emotionally jerked off. I am saying this because it’s the truth and when the truth is hard and scary that’s when it needs to be said out loud the most, not hidden away to fester like that carton of General Tsao’s chicken that’s been the refrigerator for the last six weeks. You know the one I mean, that carton that seems to move on its own and you’re fairly certain has developed a rough form of sentience.

You know it’s plotting your death so it can become you right?

Anyway back to my own thoughts of death and chicken.

Why did I want to die? Well I didn’t, I very much wanted to live. I’m an atheist I don’t believe there's a heaven or a hell waiting for me when this is all over. So why would I want to end the only reality I am sure of?

Because I was tired.

That’s the part of crippling depression they never really prepare you for. It’s the thing I can never explain no matter how hard I try to the people I love the most in this world. I was so tired I never wanted to wake back up. I wanted to close my eyes and drift away into the cool darkness of oblivion and then maybe I could rest. Rest—that’s the joke of this. No matter how much I slept, and sometimes that was up to fourteen hours at a time, I was never rested. I yearned for four good hours of sleep a night and was lucky to manage two of them. Nightmares and restlessness dominated my sleeping hours while exhaustion was my ever present companion while awake. Days and nights blend together, and I am convinced I’ve lost whole days I’m not even aware of in the morass.

So why am I still alive this time?

There is one answer to that question: medication.

The medication is straightforward and easy to explain. I have a wonderful doctor who never gives up and who managed to get me the medication I needed even though my oh so wonderful insurance refused to pay for it. Anyone who thinks medication is not one of the key answers to depression can go fuck themselves. It doesn’t matter how much my friends and family support me or how hard I work to stay positive and see the good things in life. If my brain is telling me all is lost, then the depression will win in the end without outside help. I would have died years ago without the intervention of doctor approved medication and that is a fact like it or lump it.

So here I am at the beginning of 2017.

I am shaken and damaged but to quote a great man, “I still function.”



-          Josh

Josh Hilden

When I was born on August 3, 1976 in the great state of Michigan the hills shook and the sky was swept with fire. These were portents of the greatness for my future that was written in the stars ... I'm still waiting for that greatness. My name is Josh Hilden and I am many things. I am a husband, a father, a son, a friend. These are all important things but at my core I am an artist and the medium that I work in is words. I am a writer of Horror, Science Fiction, Drama, and Role Playing Games. I worked for Palladium Books ( and Third Eye Games ( before striking out on my own and founding a small press publishing company Gorillas with Scissors Press ( I also work for Fat Goblin Games ( In the everyday world I can be found spending time with my family and friends. I have been married to my lovely wife Karen since 1996 and we have six amazing children. We tend to be a family of unabashed geeks and gamers who were geek before geek was chic. If you are really interested in me I am very active online with a personal and a writing blog along with a plethora of social media outlets. If you have any questions or just want to chat hit me up!