Pain Alert Poem

Pain Alert Poem By Sue Ellson

Pain Alert Poem

By Sue Ellson


Pain created an alert
To my body’s suffering and hurt
I didn’t know what I was missing
Until I realised what I was losing


My brain sees fantasy and reality
But my mind converts either into pain
My emotions may drive my behaviour
To move forward I need to retrain my brain


With unconditional positive regard
I have faith despite my scars
Accurate empathy helps me discard
The feeling I am from Mars


Genuine authenticity
Keeps me true to myself in all ways
With a little neuroplasticity
I can actualise beyond bad days


No longer self-medicating
I rejoice in all creation
For lessons learned I am grateful
Now I’m focused on my true destination


As I re-learn what I knew before
I start to conquer and explore
On my knees I can finally see
What it takes to truly be


Pain was the catalyst
For my new awakening
Hope is the champion
Of my new beginning


This poem was commissioned by John McCann, a client of mine and psychologist who has recently been through some Posttraumatic Growth as a result of medical treatment and then soon after, battled a very painful unrelated infection. The infection made him realise how valuable his health was, something that he didn’t consciously realise he had until he lost it.

During this time, he had some urgent work to complete. He found it fascinating that during the coaching and consulting sessions, he did not have any pain.

His mindful emotional responses of joy and gratitude released powerful chemicals in his brain including dopamine, serotonin, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which is a nerve growth factor and endorphins. These replaced the pain during the sessions but also sped up his healing.

Fortunately, as soon as his prescribed medication started working, he felt instantly better for most of the day.

John came to the conclusion that pain was a fantastic alert and he reflected on some of his past learnings and insights into how to retrain the brain. John is fully aware that you can turn off the pain receptors in your brain with specialist treatment.

In writing this poem, I summarised the one hour discussion on his main insights. Perhaps this will be a modality in itself in the future – where a poem is used to summarise learnings and provide a succinct reflection on lessons learnt and re-learnt over time that can provide sharp insights to others. I hope you gained some value by reading it. With love, Sue Ellson 🙂

Photo is of a plant in Maysia Street Canterbury, Melbourne, Victoria on 31 October 2022 at 6:19pm

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