A few years ago I was fortunate enough to have suffered from depression. Yes, obviously it didn't feel like that at the time - I was utterly miserable - but I say I was fortunate because, otherwise, I may never had been introduced to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), a psychological approach which taught me that, it's not what goes on in your life that determines your level of happiness, it's how you deal with it. And that's important because, let's face it, crap stuff happens to ALL of us so it's brilliant to learn how to surf the waves without wiping out.
A few months ago, I felt like my landlord had whipped the chair right out from under me; he decided to sell my home. I'd only been there a year and, in spite of my CBT training, I was struggling hard to get my rose-tinted spectacles to stay on my nose. But after the initial shock and a little time spent re-evaluating my lifestyle, it transpired he did me an enormous favour.
See, much as I loved my beautiful home, this re-evaluation forced me to notice just how trapped I was. Underneath, I ached to go off to live a simpler life in order to learn about myself, but I couldn't see this because I was too busy running on my go to work/pay the rent treadmill. And anyway, how could I go swanning off when I had a job and furniture? What a waste of money it would be putting my stuff into storage - oh, boy, I had a lot of stuff for someone living in a studio (seriously, where was it all?!) - and how on Earth would I get all that time off work?
Then a mad but simple idea came to me - quit your job and get rid of your stuff. Seemed like a pretty radical concept for me at the time but, let's be honest, loads of people do it, it's not really that big a deal and so that's exactly what I did. Next month, I fly to Nepal and it feels like the most natural thing in the world. And it has led me to ponder other things that have gone on in my life that seemed awful at the time but were actually a catalyst for positive change.
Sometimes upsetting things happen and we don't take notice of the great things that came out of them. What events have happened in your life that seemed really rubbish at the time but turned out to be the best thing for you?