AUTHOR Marian Keyes has compared turning 50 to being hit with a "bag of wet sand".
The renowned writer celebrated the landmark birthday yesterday.
And instead of welcoming the milestone, Marian said she spent a lot of time in denial about the fact that "more than half of my life is now over. In the months leading up to it, I was swanking around saying it's marvellous to be getting on in years and youth is overrated," she explained.
"And then it hit me like a train. I'm not prepared at all; the exact same thing happened to me when I turned 40," Marian added.
"I thought I was fine and then on the day itself, it hit me like a sack of wet sand," she told The Ryan Tubridy Show on 2fm.
Marian is taking the birthday in her stride by reliving her youth and her love for all things pink.
"I told everyone to keep the presents small so I asked for hair clips and a lot of pink," said the author.
"I didn't want a big statement present so I got lovely flowers and a lovely pink handbag."
Marian celebrated the big day on Sunday with her family before enjoying some afternoon tea with close friends yesterday.
"My sister flew in for a surprise visit from New York, but she had to tell me in case I had a heart attack," explained the author.
"So we had the big Keyes celebration on Sunday night."
The celebration included a pizza feast in Milano in Dun Laoghaire.
"It was fantastic," said Marian.
Marian, who last year spoke out about her nervous breakdown and battle with depression, said that she feels more like herself, but will always experience "ups and downs".
"I'm different, I spent a long time waiting to be better and then I realised the old me is gone.
"I am wiser," she added.