Olivia, 22, Customer Service Representative, Girlfriend, Best Friend, Niece, Sister, Daughter, Blogger, Long Term Mental Illness Sufferer.

Dealing with mental illness at this time of year is something that isn't new to me. Many years go past and it doesn't get any easier, everywhere is busier, people want to do more things, money is tighter, it's cold and there is next to no natural light. Don't get me wrong I love Christmas as much as the next person, however there is just something about the way the whole month messes with my 'routine'. I know it's probably for the best as it gets me doing things, but at the same time, having no light when you go to work and the same when you return, makes it hard to motivate yourself to do anything but sleep and eat junk food. 

The people everywhere, any shop you go into, it's rammed. Things not being how they were previously, is something I find hard to cope with. I enjoy the lights around, means that it's slightly less dark around, with the flashes of colour everywhere you go. But there is still that element of danger that constantly worries me. I finish work at 5pm, and the idea of walking home at all is challenging, it's dark and to me the dark is a mystery, anything could behind it and although you've done walked in it many times before, no time is exactly the same. I spend time walking around shopping centres, hours browsing the internet trying to find the perfect present for that person. But in the back of your head worry that, they're not going to like it and then the effort feels like it was never worth it. 

Everyone is happier, and you're worried if you don't act happy too, people will be angry, I mean it's nearly Christmas after all. The facade can be tiring, you want to be happy, but it's hard and it zaps up all of your energy, and then you have no energy left for anything else. People want to go out for drinks and want you to go with them too, but your medication doesn't allow you to drink, it makes you so much worse, you feel like the odd one out. People asking why you don't think, giving you a variety of excuses of why you should drink, it's Christmas being the main one. I wish I could live my life the same way as the rest. 

Christmas should be fun, not all doom and gloom.