I'm sat here in my room almost two weeks on from the Manchester Arena attack, in the exact same spot I was in when I first found out about this horrific incident.
I remember leaping out of bed and running into the newsroom, the mood was somber, everyone was exhausted from working through the night. It was one of the busiest weeks of my life. Each day more and more of the sickening plot unraveled before my eyes and I saw the true extent of the damage that was done. The list of fatalities grew and grew and their names were revealed. I knew people at that concert and people I know were close with people that died that night. I edited interviews with the emergency service staff who were first on the scene. What they saw and had to go through that night was unbelievable.
The reality of what had happened didn't really set in until I sat in my garden on Friday night. I just sat there in silence, I felt empty. This happened in my hometown. I love Manchester. I grew up here. I went to school here. I realised what love is here. Manchester is my life, my heart, my soul. It's a part of me, a huge part of who I am and to see someone hurt innocent children in my city, it destroyed a part of me.
I wasn't at the attack, I never saw anything first hand and I think because of that I felt guilty for even feeling empty after what happened. There were people there who died and lost loved ones, I can't even begin to imagine what they are going through.
I woke up early this morning from a nightmare that I was a member of the public in a terrorist attack. I woke up in fear and panic, I thought it was actually happening at that very moment and I was about to die.
I've been strong all through this so far and I'm not about to stop. We need to be strong for those who lost their lives, for their families. We shouldn't just move on, we need to stand up to these people who try to destroy our lives, our homes and show them that they are nothing to us. We'll remember what happened here, not because of them, but because of the love we have for each other.
I love you Manchester, forever.