One of my favourite people on earth is Thomas “TomSka” Ridgewell, known for the asdf-movies on his YouTube-Channel, which was my favourite thing as a teenager and is still way high up there today. Since over a year, he releases a weekly ~30-minute-vlog on his second channel. It is full of his personal- and work-life, and shows a lot of how much he struggles with depression, grief, YouTube-fame – but also, that he still enjoys life, his friends, his work and that he’s able to do what I loves most. I watch every single one of these vlogs (and it’s the only vlog of anyone I watch at all), and slowly got to know him a bit better; limited, of course, to a relationship between a celebrity and a fan, and by what he chooses to show in his videos and share on Twitter. I did like him a lot very early on though, and what I got to know only ever reinforced and added to that.
He has severe depression due to many reasons, suffers under it every single day and it effects his life, and that of the people around him, so much that he seems to feel guilty for what he puts people through, and sometimes even tries to push them away, or himself from them, to prevent them from suffering along. I can relate to that a lot, even though our experiences in life and also current situations and circumstances differ heavily.
He just released a 12-page comic on his tumblr. Reading it lead me to first talking about him on Twitter a bit (Click for the first tweet of that thread), and then go onto a generally-speaking tweet-chain about depression and how it seems to make people to try to improve other people’s lives. It got way longer than anticipated, and if I knew I’d be at 30 tweets in the end I would’ve just made it a blog-post either way. I copied the contents, read over it again, tweaked it very slightly since I have no character limit here and will mirror it on my blog now.
There were two initial tweets about people who just get evil when going through shit; I deleted them since that’s neither what I ever really experienced, nor what I want to talk about. (New) first tweet of that thread is here.
In my life, virtual and irl, almost all of the nicest, best people with the highest level of integrity I came across were those who went through hell and back. Many times. It even happens a lot that I see/meet a person and pretty quickly judge on wether I like them or not, without getting to know them personally, but if I eventually do, the pattern shows itself again.
I heard the most fucked up shit from people I initially liked the most, so often. It probably has to do with how they act, talk and look like (it’s all I’m able to perceive after all), but I start to get afraid. If I meet new people and instantly like them a lot I get very sad very quickly because I can almost know for certain they went through a lot of shit. Like, parents killed themselves in front of them kind of shit. Got raped and/or abused many times as a child kind of shit. Being terminally ill kind of shit. Or lost their best friend to cancer kind of shit.
Of course, depression is often there without causes and genetical indicators define how quickly we’re effected by it (and how hard), and you can go through shit without getting severely depressed, but this isn’t about depression – it’s about trying your best to not only improve your life, but that of others too. The people who (seem to, to me) try their hardest to do so are those who had to live through the worst experiences themselves.
Of course, the end result isn’t as definite as in, effective when it comes to how much what people do actually improved the lives of others, and you can try your best to be a good human without having to be depressed – it’s a tendency. My personal experience with it is just incredibly strongly pointing in one direction. Biased, yes, experiences differ for everyone – but it’s why I’m so dead-afraid to maybe someday meet someone who not only I love, but who’d also (be able to) love me, and especially be able to put up with me, and what comes with spending time with and power on me.
I’m very aware I’m incredibly exhausting to be around, not only due to the autism but also due to various character traits and the severe depression. Someone who’d find me interesting enough to try to get to know me, be able to start to love me and _also_ keeps loving me despite everything I am and do – such person shouldn’t exist. According to Newton’s third law, any force generates the exact same amount of opposing force. But this also means that the necessary force to break through these circumstances also require some insane amounts of opposing forces to have happened before.
So if the pattern I observed has any base in reality in any way, the circumstances would require insane amounts of shit to have happened for this to happen. Such a person would have to have lived in hell the longest time of their life. I really do not want that to be true for anyone in the world. So I keep being afraid of meeting someone who is able to break through after all. And would probably cry for weeks if I ever do – for them.
And out of relief.
Being alone is awful. I emotionally hope to find someone to share stuff with some day, but rationally, I don’t want it to even be possible. Which is, interestingly enough, at the same time also my most severe cognitive dissonance. Never did my emotional and rational wishes deviate so much, in no topic.
Still, if this person exists, they do wether I meet and get to know them and their history and state of mind or not. Contrarily, my emotions will get satisfied or not depending on if I meet them. So I can just try to meet people, and look out for them. Me being aware that such a person exists or not doesn’t change reality. It’d just hit me. No choice should rely on trying to prevent me from knowing anything – and no choice I make should, ideally, depend on wether I know something or not. Of course, I can only act according to information I have, but that only means that underinformed choices will not be 100% reality-based, not that choosing this way was wrong. I didn’t know better; all I can do is to inform myself best I can.
Which is what I try to do as much and often as possible, always considering my circumstances.
And why I look up to people who seem to do the same. Always, of course, depending on their experiences and information, just as with my choices. Not being fully informed from the get go is nothing anyone is to be blamed for. Not changing your views and especially actions due to new information, though, is. And acting without informing yourself properly is, too. (And yes, that does include voting, and prejudging people’s actions.)
People who don’t assume stuff without asking or researching, especially if it’d be quick and easy, are so rare that they stick out to me. To close this up, TomSka is one of these few people. Him not being able to see how much that’s worth is so, so sad. I do hope he can, someday. I hope the shit he has to go through declines. I hope his demons and monsters get more easy on him.
On all of you.