Rose George is a British-based journalist and writer who has contributed to The Guardian, the Financial Times, Details, and Condé Nast Traveler, among other publications. She is also the author of A Life Removed (2004), The Big Necessity: the Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why it Matters (2008), and Ninety Percent of Everything (2013), and, most recently, Nine Pints (2018). (April 2020)
I find the blanket hostility toward runners disheartening, but people have grounds for fury when there definitely are runners who do not give good warning, or who do not run at a safe distance, or who spit. And people are scared, so finding scapegoats always seems to help with that. This is particularly true when outside space is either overcrowded or threatened. All the vitriol for runners here comes from densely populated cities. Yet some city authorities, from London to Los Angeles, have closed parks or trails. Where are people to go?
I took my new boxes of patches, a pump gel of estrogen to top up with on the bad days, my precious testosterone, and went home with hope. It took months, but things stabilized. Now, there is never more than one bad day at a time of these “low moods.” The phrase is belittling. My depression is not simply feeling miserable or glum. I know what that feels like. I know that that can be fixed by fresh air or effort. This depression is dysfunction, derangement. I hate myself so hard. And I miss myself, the woman who didn’t feel like this. On the good days, I am at peace with my age, with what I have done, with who I am, menopausal or not. I delight in what I can do, and when I run, I hurtle headlong down a steep descent with the joy of a child, aged nearly fifty. But on other days, that woman seems like someone else.