AN AYR woman who endured a difficult lockdown has penned a defiant poem in response to latest restrictions to help others struggling with mental health.

Melissa Courtney has used poems to help her battle against anxiety and depression which was made worse during the months of uncertainty.

The 25-year-old has found putting her thoughts to paper to be an effective way to get through hard times.

Melissa told the Advertiser: “I’ve suffered with mental health, particularly from when I was a teenager.

“I spiralled over the years.

“I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety”

Melissa lost her job with a collections agency in Kilmarnock in May after months of furlough then issues with working from home.

She spent the majority of lockdown unemployed but found work in August as a cleaner at Ayr Job Centre.

Melissa said: “I had two and a half months of just looking for job.

“I realised just how hard lockdown was hitting me. I couldn’t just nip down for a cuppa at my grandparents.”

“I started writing a paper diary a few years ago where I would just jot done how I was feeling. It started to help me, I really spent a lot of time doing that during lockdown.

As Nicola Sturgeon announced that restrictions were being tightened last week, Melissa wanted to capture the mood and use her poetry to reach out to people whose mental health is suffering because of COVID-19.

Melissa added: “When the latest restrictions came out I honestly just had enough. It’s here, we need to learn to live with it. I want it to help other people who are struggling with their mental health.”

The poem reads:

“You secluded me from family, you kept me from my friends, I’m praying long and hard, that soon this nightmare ends.

“I can’t visit them at home, but crowded bars are still okay,

“Where’s the logic in that choice?

“This won’t go away.

“Jobs are lost and loved ones are gone, the worlds been impacted.

“I still agree with unheard voices, in March we should have acted.

“For those of us with mental health, these restrictions won’t come easy,The thought of yet another lockdown, quite frankly makes me queasy.

“So send those texts and make those calls, we’re in this mess as one,Let’s show this virus the middle finger, our battle has just begun.”