Is This All There Is?


I’m home sick from work today, I worked the first three hours and made sure payroll got done before I came home. I intended to go directly to bed but my mind is racing, and the only thing that helps that is writing. Therefore, it’s time for an essay and some venting.

Have you missed pissed off Josh?

If so then you’re gonna get a fix. If not… well nobody is making you read this. You could always take the nap I desperately want. But be warned I am going to be accused of being whiny and selfish by some people who read this. I’m not going to lie and say I don’t give a fuck what people think, everyone cares what someone thinks whether they realize it or not. But I am girding my armor and turning on the force field. Today is about me.

Two months ago, my doctor took me off my Lithium and Prozac and put me on a new pill called Abilify. I was skeptical as to the changes the new pill would enact but I always listen to my Doctor, it took me a long time to find one I trust, and started the new regime.

The results have been astounding.

For the first time in more than twenty years, I feel like a person. I’m sleeping six to seven hours a night as opposed to the more than ten my body demanded before the Abilify. I have more clarity and less chaos in my mind on a regular basis. My dreams have been less disturbing. And best of all my mood swings seem, dare I say it, normal.

All of this is wonderful, right?

Well, yes and no.

With the clarity and stabilized moods (more or less), I’ve been doing a lot, and I mean A LOT, of self-analysis and inspection. The results have been, well I’ll just say it the results have left depressed, And by depressed I don’t mean unfocused depression from my mental illness I mean real quantifiable depression. I know why I’m depressed, but I don’t think there’s anything I can do about.

I hate 90% of my life.

Now before anyone starts pointing out all of the admittedly good things in my life, I will preempt you and tell you what I like about my life. It’s not a long list, but the things I like are precious and indispensable to me. Se here’s the list. Read it, like it, but it won’t change your life.

My family and by my family I mean my wife, my children, my coming granddaughter, my mom, my grandparents, and my friends who I consider family. You all know who you are and how much I love you. Although a special word is needed for Bill Brother, you are the other side of my coin. I wouldn’t be who I am if I never met you.

My work. Not the stupid fucking things I do to pay the bills, I mean my writing. One of the only things in the entire universe that makes me happy is putting words on paper, whether physical or digital. I never feel more alive than when I’m crafting a story. Hell, even essay writing gives me a charge.

And that’s I, folks. That’s all that makes me happy. Oh, sure there are things I enjoy. I enjoy food, music, television, movies, comics, and many other things but none of them make me happy. For too long I’ve used them as a cloak to hide how genuinely unhappy I was under the weight of my bipolar disorder and chronic depression. I enjoy them, but there’s no sense of fulfillment from them. It’s all just entertainment.

What do I hate about my life?

My weight. I look at myself in the mirror every day and wonder that I haven’t had a stroke or a heart attack yet. I’m sure it’s coming which is why I’m looking into bariatric surgery.

My eyes. I’m blind in one eye (legally) and my right eye drifts hard toward my ear. I look like a crooked eyed moron.

My teeth. I have had a lot of teeth pulled over the years, and it makes me feel like a gap-toothed drunken idiot.

My penis (yeah I’m going here) it’s small, and I am suffering from erectile dysfunction. My wife is a saint for putting up with it, but it leaves me feeling like a eunuch, and not a man.

Where I live. I hate this state, I hate this region, and I hate this area. I stay here only for my family. It’s worth it because of how much I love them, but I hate living here.

I miss my friends. I have zero friends here. When I moved here in 1994, I had one good friend who I lost over my marriage. All of my friends live far away, and when my wife isn’t home, I’m extremely lonely.

I hate my jobs. I’ve never had a job I liked let alone loved other than writing. Every day I wake up and think two things. The first is, if today is too hard I can just kill myself, and the other is if work is bad I can quit. Except it would be easier to kill myself than to quit.

How fucked up is that?

Some of this I can fix, but most of it is something I will have to live with until I die.

I know the responses will come telling me how lucky I am to have what I have and how much worse other people have it. But here’s the thing I’m more than half of the way through my expected life span, and I am allowed to say what I feel and think I’m not hurting anyone I'm just honest.

Of course, other people have it worse than me, but I don’t live their lives. I don’t take comfort that they have it worse. All I know is my life, and like everyone else in this entire fucking reality, I have a selfish streak.

Yes, we should care about others, but we should also take care of ourselves.


- Josh (04/22/2019)

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!