It's not that I handle stress better than anyone else; it's that I don't notice that I'm under stress. I just get more and more easily frustrated with everything and pretty soon I'm snapping at people for stupid reasons, and nothing makes me feel better; I can't get enough sleep and my gastrointestinal system goes frickin' haywire. There's no mental connection between life and my emotional state which says to me, Hey, bud! You're under an awful lot of stress!
...which is why I didn't notice until I was laid off from my tech writing job that it was killing me. When I woke up from a post-exit-interview nap on October 16, 2001, and realized that I no longer had to work for Michelle DeBlieck, it was like someone lifted a 16-ton weight off my body. The severe stomach cramps that had become almost routine in my life (and which my doc did an EKG on me to make sure it wasn't a freakin' heart attack) only appeared a couple times since then. The excessive fatigue left me. The symptoms of my irritable bowel syndrome no longer required drugs to be controllable. I stopped being so irritable all the time. Etcetera.
Besides that, I hate leaning on "stress" and I hate saying, "Last week was really hard for me!" It sounds like whining. It irritates the hell out of me when other people whine and complain about how hard they have it, especially when someone else in their immediate family has it even worse than they do: WTF, I wasn't the one in the hospital, who's sick and trying to get better.
Damn it, I ought to be able to handle this, and it pisses me off to no end that I apparently cannot. I mean, come on: this isn't anything compared to what some people have endured in history; compare my week to some guy who survived landing on Omaha Beach, and tell me who had it worse? WTF. My week doesn't even register on that scale.
...yet here I am falling apart like I was made of toothpicks. I'm pretty disgusted with myself.