Some of my earliest memories involve being stressed. I recall waiting to be in a Christmas pageant (I was one of the three wise men) and telling my teacher that "I'm feeling really nervous." I was nine. For some reason, I could find the cloud around every silver lining, perhaps it was genetics, perhaps it was the feeling that every time my dad got mad he would kill me- either by intent or mistake.
As I got older, a good dose of sex-guilt (for what? I remained a virgin until I was 21!) was heaped upon my existing neuroses, and continued until... when? What was the tipping point, the place where I became generally happier and less stressed-out? (No, it wasn't when I lost my virginity!) And it wasn't when I moved out either.
Maybe it was the big break-up I had with my first real lover. It is almost a cliché to state that a broken romance was "The best thing ever to happen to me." But after that, things didn't seen so polarized, I could laugh at myself a little bit more, I wasn't so serious, I was free.
Of course, I can still get in a good tizzy about nothing, and sometimes I mangage to color my world in various shades of black, but that "split" was a definite line of demarcation.