Post Traumatic Growth Poem

Post Traumatic Growth Poem By Sue Ellson

Post Traumatic Growth Poem

By Sue Ellson


As the trauma builds
Beneath the surface
I wonder how
I can escape the furnace


The fire, the fury
The hurt, the worry
The fear, the mire
I feel so sorry


Intensity rising
Anxiety spiralling
Depression sickening
Stress increasing


But at some point
I make a decision
I act not react
I see with new vision


My heart calls me in
To dig a little deeper
I discover my own salvation
I become my own reaper


That finds a new harvest
Of strength and wisdom
That opens the door
To my new found freedom


For in the resistance
The trials and the suffering
My vulnerability awakens
Love everlasting


The kernel of joy
Is finally sprouting
Trauma the catalyst
For my new awakening


Painful and raw
Beyond all measure
But look what I’ve found
My hidden treasure


The will
The way
The license
To play


To smile
To seek
To live
To learn
So much more from here
For every new year


For now I give thanks
For the gratefulness I’ve gained
The battle was hard
But my belief is now ingrained


I can’t change the past
Or wish something else for me
But through post traumatic growth
I’ve found a way to truly be


Firstly, if you are currently in a state of high trauma, please accept my deepest empathy and concern for your current and future wellbeing. I understand the effect it can have on you and your ability to carry out even the most basic of everyday activities. When I have been in that state, the best that anyone could offer me was their unconditional presence.

I am most fortunate to have one very special friend who I have known for many years who has given me her unwavering support and love and I sometimes wonder how I could have ever gotten to where I am now without her. My sincerest hope is that you can find various people to support you too.

This poem is an addition to my series of Psychology Poems and was commissioned by John McCann, a positive psychology systemic executive coach and psychologist in private practice. I first met John in 2011 and we have shared many stories of hope and inspiration over the years.

This year, John has had to face his own personal crisis and believes that it has led to ‘Posttraumatic Growth‘. This term was first coined in 2004 by Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun and is defined as ‘the positive psychological change that is experienced as a result of the struggle with highly challenging life circumstances.’

There are now many books, papers and articles that explore this topic in detail. When so many of us have had to cope with multiple internal and external challenges, it provides us with a concept that we can use to develop our resilience and find more positive ways to move forward. It doesn’t deny what has happened. We can’t change that. But it can give us hope that we can ultimately find a way forward (in my case, with a lot of personal support).

By writing this poem, I hope it gives you a glimmer of hope, peace and understanding. That is at least my intention. Thank you John for the request. With love, Sue Ellson 🙂

Photo is of a daisy bush I photographed in the early evening on Wednesday 19 October 2022 in Hassett Avenue Canterbury, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. I love the light and shade and the optimism it portrays.

#posttraumaticgrowth #traumapoem #SueEllson #SueEllsonPoem #poem #poetry

Shared on Facebook LinkedIn Profile LinkedIn Page Google Twitter Instagram

See my other poems here or subscribe to the monthly email newsletter to receive links to the latest publications.

Discover more from Sue Ellson

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading