I just stopped by and I'm so glad I saw your post. You prompted me to become a member only to reply. I have only recently accepted my depression, although it has affected me as long as I can remember.
Until ...well tonight... I've always denied my depression, actually, I just didn't recognize it for what it was. I am not sad all the time. I don't cry in a darkened room for months at a time. I don't hate myself. I think I'm kinda good looking. Just kidding. I'm not particularly angry... Other's would say I'm alway's happy (in fact I've been nicknamed sunshine and smiley) I would say I'm pretty even keeled... (90% of the time) My husband would say I'm unfeeling-no ups or downs. But, I do get anxious sometimes. My pattern seems to work as such.
I get miniscule amounts of anxiety everyday. I can lose the anxiety by going for a run, having a bath, doing puzzles, small repetitive tasks, taxes, busy work etc... keeping my mind occupied. At more anxious times I can become passionate about a new project, immerse myself in something new, get a hair cut, new outfit etc... change focus. Failing that, I try to take on more and more responsibility keeping myself so busy I can't think... I start to run three times a day (and I hate running). My 'care of self' starts to deteriote, I don't eat because I don't have time. I get used to the extra tasks or responsibility I've taken on and they don't fill the 'mindspace' they used to so... I take on more. This is where I can cycle for a while.
But... sometimes it works differently ... My mind stops working I look at a problem and can't see a solution. I look over a page three times and don't read a word. I ask people to repeat themselves again and again and still have no idea what they said. I have so many things to do I don't know where to start... so I do nothing. I'm muddle headed and can't concentrate. I try to rationalize my anxiety and frustration. I lay it on unrealised dreams, dissatisfaction with my life or whatevers close. I get frustrated and end up lying on my bed because I can't decide what to wear. It's in this quiet unthinking time I'll say to myself 'man... I'm tired. I should kill myself' to which I reply 'that's the best idea you've had so far'. That's when the calm comes... And I'm in trouble...
Now this overview was quite a clinical 'looking back' view of what happens. When I'm living it however, it feels a lot more desperate and turbulant. I've been following this pattern for years but only realised last october. A big change is the best way I know how to 'save myself'. A big move, a different job, a different boyfriend is the way I prefer to get out of my 'rut'. I run away from everything and everyone in an effort to run from myself. I'm desperate to change this. I run full tilt never looking back to say goodbye, or thank you to anyone I leave. They'll write/email/phone and they'll go unanswered.
Now that being said. I have been able to maintain a long term relationship (been married almost 5 years now). All of my relationships before this maxed out after 3 months. We met and married quickly (This is probably why we beat the 3 month hump). He married me forever and he won't let me go easy. I've had my bags packed many times (I had tickets for Sep 11-My husband is the only one in the world glad that the planes hit). There is only one way out of this marriage. Our task is to stop me taking it early.
Now, I have maintained this relationship however we've lived in 5 Apartments and 1 house in 3 different provinces accross canada (We're currently negotiating another move) we've owned 16 different vehicles (our current vehicle is up for sale). I'm always starting new projects. I am a presently a stay at home Mom of 3 (4,2,1) and we foster two others (3,1) we recently got a puppy (a Newfoundland - he's 4 Months and 60 lbs easy). I am in a slump at the moment but I'll fight through it (or die trying).
Lastly, a relationship of 1 and a half years is nothing to sneeze at. Also, I have to admit, I am rather jealous that you have completed two degrees. I left mine 3/4 finished 5 years and 6 moves ago. (Sometimes it's helpful to know someone envies)
Thank you for posing the question.