Looking back, I have had periods of life in which I was unhappy; indeed I was unhappy for most of my post-adolescent, adult life until I married. In particular the period in my late twenties, early thirties - and overall it just kept getting worse.
I had nothing much to do in life, except do what I wanted to do; to seek happiness in whatever way suited-me - and that was pretty much my philosophy-of-life (albeit that it included quite a few traditionalist constraints that I was, apparently 'stuck with').
But I could not (except briefly) be happy, and then only on the surface - the baseline state (my deep mood) was of futility and loneliness. Underpinned, as it was, by false and self-destructive
assumptions; no matter what I tried (stick, or twist), 'life' didn't
work - for one reason, or another.
God was in fact doing me a big favour, in making me unhappy. I was unhappy because my life was inadequate and far away from its destined track, and aiming further away.
So, in retrospect; the worst thing that could have happened to me was that I would succeed in doing what I aimed at doing; which was to find a way of being happy in what was for me the wrong life.
In particular, it would have done me no favours to be successful at inhabiting the kind of amoral, self-gratifying, selfish-hedonic nihilist role that I so-often was aiming-at. As I said: I wasn't very successful at dropping my 'inhibitions' - they got in the way of the ideal of hedonism; but that was my covert long-term strategy.
By contrast, when I joined the proper track for my life; I was always deeply fulfilled and happy; whatever surface miseries and sufferings might dominate.
It is nothing to do with perfection of life! It is Not about having 'found' the truth. It is - in essence - about living a life in which one is learning from experience. And these experiences are not - ultimately - cumulative. It is more like a daily, or hourly, life of attaining true insights - even if, as often happens, these insights are forgotten, or slip from my grasp. Even on the right path; we may not get noticeably better as persons, but nonetheless we are learning.
I would now conceptualise this trajectory as learning from experience; which is why we are here, in this earthly mortal life.
But learning from experience is - literally - the hardest thing in life.
The reason (and this is what I failed to grasp, for so long) is that with the wrong assumptions we have the wrong aims; plus, with wrong assumptions, we cannot learn.
It took me about a dozen years or more to begin the (daily) process of learning from adult life; because it took that length of time even to begin fixing the false (and getting ever-falser - errors feeding-off themselves) metaphysical assumptions that had been incrementally undermining my life from adolescence.
Chronic and cumulative underlying unhappiness was, I now see, the predictable outcome of year-upon-year of failing to learn from the predictable consequences of my chosen beliefs. To cure the unhappiness without curing its cause would have done me no favours at all; and I am glad that I never succeeded in doing so.