Weekend columnist Nikki Owen looks back on her 'annus horribilis' and laughs
2005 was a rubbish year for me. Truly bobbins. To put it in the words of HRH The Queen, if I may, it was my 'annus horribilis'.
I had returned to work in a new job after babies. My second daughter, at the time, was only six months old. I remember now walking into the new office on my first day in a new suit, new shoes and a sick-free shoulder.
Look! Grown-ups! There were no toys on the floor! The sun was shining! So why didn't I feel great?
Truth? I didn't want to be there. But, like a monkey caught up a tree stalked by a raging lion, I couldn't escape. Clearly, action would have to be taken. Six months later that's just what happened.
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You see, pre-meltdown, I had this great idea that I would just rise to the challenge. Heck, I'd seen Working Girl. True, I was no Melanie Griffiths, and the only sin I knew was the one the Catholic priest dropped into his sermon on a Sunday when I was 10.
But I digress. I thought I had this busy thing nailed. I wasn't down or depressed – I was just, you know juggling! Until the doctor signed me off.
Oh, how I laugh now. The fact that I'm telling you all this is a big step. People judge – and that ain't right, or fair. For this piece, I Googled 'depression anecdotes' and found stuff out.
Like, did you know that the comedian, Kenneth Williams suffered from depression? Him of the vitriolic, nostril-flaring, hypochondriac Carry On film fame? Whose catch phrase was, 'Stop messing about!' Who knew that this iconic caricature was on a downer?
It's funny (no irony intended) how we cover up feeling rubbish with a laugh.
It was recently World Mental Health Day and the 20th anniversary of the event. I look at the anniversary of my annus horribilis and think what's changed.
I took my foot off the peddle. Me and my husband figured out what worked for our family. I made peace with a few family demons. But most of all, I had a laugh. A good old, belly-aching laugh.
Thankfully, I popped no pills. But we've all got to do what we've got to do. And no one should judge us for that.
Follow Nikki via her blog http://www.nikkiowen.wordpress.com