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This poem was inspired by Stephen Hawking's talk about depression. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] mdlbear. It belongs to The Moon Door series. In sequence, this poem comes after "Lunacy" which hasn't been posted yet, so if you prefer reading things in order then you may want to wait.


"Neither Impossible to Escape"


At the chronic pain support group,
Lorina said, "Tonight I want to talk
about depression. I watched
a broadcast of a lecture by
Stephen Hawking and it
really resonated with me."

"We're listening," Hilla said.

"So most people think of him as
a theoretical physicist, but over here in
disability support we see a different side
of him in coping with limitations," said Lorina.
"This lecture puts those two things together."

"Physics and disability?" Randie said dubiously.

"He uses them as frameworks and metaphors
for each other," said Felice. "I haven't seen
the new lecture, but he's done it before."

"Stephen Hawking studies black holes,
and he's comparing them to depression,"
said Lorina, shaping her hands into a circle.
"He says that black holes are not as black
as they have been painted in the past.
They are not the eternal prisons that they
were once thought of, trapping everything.
Things can get out of a black hole, both
on the outside and perhaps to another universe.
So if you feel like you are in a black hole,
don’t give up – there’s a way out.”

"Wow," Felice said. "That is really deep.
I definitely need to watch that lecture.
I'm not ... doing so well myself, right now.
I've overdone a bit and the endometriosis
is flaring up in some really bizarre places that
have me miserable and my doctors worried."

"How awful," said Hilla. "You know,
you don't have to do everything yourself."

"Yes, Everett can work from designs if you
need to step back from the physical stuff
for a while," said Alexandria.

Felice sighed. "I may have to, but
I'm not giving up yet," she said.
"It's just ... discouraging."

"I feel the same way," said Lorina.
"I thought that lycanthropy would fix me,
and it did help the physical stuff, but then
it made the mental stuff even worse."

"So that's why you liked the Hawking lecture,"
Felice guessed. "It sounded familiar."

"Exactly," said Lorina. "He compared
depression with black holes, explaining
that no matter how dark they seem, it's
an exaggeration. In reality, they are
neither impossible to escape
nor untenable to tolerate."

"And that made you feel better?" Hilla asked.

"Yes, it did. It gives me hope for a way
of transcending my condition and creating
works of greatness, like he has," said Lorina.
"And now I want to see if Stephen Hawking has
ever written anything about the Moon."

* * *

Notes:

Depression is a crushing sense of desolation. Treatment is more complicated for werewolves, because the wolf influences emotions even in human form, and drugs don't work well on them. There are tips on dealing with depression and helping a depressed friend.

Group therapy has many benefits. Some people find it very helpful in treating depression. Although this series centers around a support group for chronic pain, they routinely deal with many other issues that come along with a major illness, one of which is depression. Most of the members have gone through at least one really deep funk. Most of them have also come out the other side, although at any given time, somebody in the group is usually depressed and it is a chronic problem for several members.

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