For the first few days, my pupils were so large, my eyes looked black. I thought this was because I had seen Death and now even looked as different as I felt. But I discovered that this, too is normal. Powerful emotions like love, or pain, make your pupils dilate. So grief can turn your eyes black. The blue is now, gradually returning.
2015 was probably one of the worst years of my life. I know, a bit of a depressing start to this blog plost. The thing about 2015 is despite the many valleys and storms, there was just something so beautiful and amazing about it.
Whether young or old; male or female; rich or poor; the new calendar year is upon us all and represents a fresh opportunity for change for many. Although, psychologically, change can occur at any moment on any given day of the year, you cannot deny that people ooze positivity at this time of year.
To fill out the 1-year-old's baby book without making it obvious I forgot to do it at the time. Sticking photos in should be a piece of cake. Remembering the dates of when each of her eight teeth came through could be a bit more tricky.
Christmas means something different to everyone. For some, it's a time to spend with family; for children, it's usually about Santa and the presents; and for others, it is of course about the birth of Jesus Christ. For me, inevitably you might argue, it's about the food.
You see Santa, I seem to have lost the ability to sleep soundly. One which I had spent years practicing. I used to be so good at it. Sleeping through the loudest of bangs whereas now? Now the slightest sniff out of place jolts me from my slumber.
A soul group is simply a collection of people who gravitate and travel through life - or part of life - together. They could be from completely different histories, social backgrounds, age groups and interests, who happen to meet under the most extraordinary or the most nondescript circumstances.
Let's be clear. The worst thing about this time of year isn't sh*t gifts, it's not the midnight-on-New-Years texting your ex from the disabled bog you used to shag in, sobbing as Auld Lang Syne roars through two inches of wooden door you've locked to hide behind... It's the insufferable Facebook statuses that follow in the days between.
It must be wider recognised that mother and child constitute a family and giving women a second chance, with help and support from the state, the voluntary sector and wider kin, might enable them to encounter the responsibilities of motherhood and break the cycle which is placing unprecedented numbers of babies into the care system.
It might sound cliché, but in a year where our family has had tonsillitis, pneumonia, chest infections and plenty of other nasties, I would love for us all to be fit and well over the Christmas break.
As shoppers partake in a rush to buy all those Christmas essentials (and indeed all the things you think you need but probably don't), this may not have much significance for the majority of people who are queuing up to pay for their goods, but it's prompted a lot of soul-searching in my mind.
For me this year I am definitely looking at things differently. My life and the life of my partner and everyone closely connected to us has taken a turn. Suddenly the things we took for granted aren't a given any more and that is strangely horrible and liberating at the same time.
There's no time like Christmas to act as a reminder that I'm single, child-less and am now the oldest i've ever been, now a mystifying 40 years old. It seems that, once again, I'm having Christmas just with my parents.
Dealing with any depression or mental health issue during a time of general good cheer and celebration can be markedly more challenging than at other times. The Christmas period, although wonderful, can sometimes be stressful and overwhelming too. Here are my top five tips for reducing symptoms and improving mood.
Yes, I'm aware that you won't listen, you want to be confident, educated and independent. I am not asking you to corrupt your dreams, just to look around and find time to enjoy the journey.
However, it doesn't really matter what was planned or what's going to happen. The most important thing is that even though we're all these miles apart for your special day, M and I will be thinking of you and celebrating with you and loving you as always.