For Robbie Farah, 2012 is a year he'll never forget but cannot wait to put behind him.
In a week where he's become embroiled in a Twitter storm, Farah walked away with the Brad Fittler Medal awarded to the NSW player of the series on Wednesday following a barnstorming return to the State of Origin arena after a three-year hiatus.
It was a positive note in another difficult week for the Wests Tigers skipper, that started with him being widely praised for leading a campaign to stamp out so-called Twitter trolls.
Farah began his crusade after receiving a message that made disparaging comments about his mother who passed away in June.
His actions led to discussions at both NSW and Federal Government level about the implementation of tougher laws to stamp out online abuse.
But just as the campaign was gathering pace, Farah was forced into making a humiliating apology just hours before he received his award, after it emerged he posted a disparaging remark on Twitter about Prime Minister Julia Gillard last year.
While his recent difficulties have left him angry and frustrated, nothing will compare to the moment his "world was rocked" when his mother Sonia lost her long battle with pancreatic cancer.
It came just four days after the best performance of Farah's career, inspiring the Blues to a 16-12 win over Queensland, chalking up 63 tackles - an Origin record - in the process.
While revelling in the adulation and delighting in proving his critics - including former Tigers great and Blues assistant coach Steve Roach - wrong, Farah admits he and his family are still struggling to cope with the loss of his biggest fan.
"I look back at one of the best nights of my life and then going back in the sheds afterwards and the family telling me mum wasn't able to be there ," Farah said.
"I'd come off probably the best performance of my career and then lost mum four days later.
"To be so high and then to stoop so low was very hard.
"It's going to be a time in my life I remember for all the right reasons and all the wrong reasons."
After his heroics in game two at ANZ Stadium, Farah revealed his family talked him into playing the decider in Brisbane, as he battled to contain his grief.
"I said to the family 'I'm not sure I can play, I don't know how I am going to do it'", he said.
"But they said I had to. Mum would have wanted me to.
"I guess what kept me going was that I didn't want to let anyone down. The whole state was riding on that game.
"I just couldn't have that excuse of saying I didn't play well because of mum.
"I remember it being 20-all and I looked up to the skies and said 'bring us home mum' and unfortunately it didn't happen.
"But it will. This team has a hunger to make history."
This week's Twitter affair is not the first time Farah's been forced to defend himself this year.
Roach, a trusted member of former Blues coach Ricky Stuart's backroom team, launched a stunning attack on Farah, questioning whether the 28-year-old had what it took to be an Origin player.
Farah was then involved in a spat with Matthew Johns in a TV interview.
Farah accused the former Newcastle and NSW star of ambushing him, after Johns claimed the Tigers forwards were soft and that the team's poor form was down to a feud with Benji Marshall.
However, Farah insists the knocks he's suffered have made him stronger this year but concedes he's made mistakes.
"It will be one to remember, there's certainly been more lows than highs," he said.
"At the start of the year I was suspended, had a few niggling injuries, then I was fronting up to Matty Johns and defending my team.
"Then I had all the criticism from Blocker (Roach), then there was mum.
"It will definitely make me stronger. I surely can't endure another year like this again.
"I've made mistakes but no-one can't say I didn't try."
The loss of his mother has also helped the man who confesses to be the sorest of losers to now take defeat in his stride.
Although the hunger to win still burns deep, Farah insists he now possesses a new outlook on life and in particular rugby league.
"I hate losing. I used to lose and not talk to anyone for three days," he said.
"But losing mum puts things into perspective. It's football. You put in so much work and effort you want to win.
"But if things don't go your way, you can walk off knowing there are more important things in life."