Poems about Obstacles to Overcome

Obstacles create the opportunity us to forge our purpose in life. Obstacles require us to engage in the powerful process of PAUSE —Providing Attention Unveils Sacred Experiences—when I pause, really deeply pause, and name my obstacle(s) this is an act of active awareness and this awareness is filled to over-flowing with the opportunity for deep meaningful action letting go of Shame… letting go of Fear… letting go of Guilt… the experience of Aloneness… the experience of Anger… the experience of Addiction(s)… the experience of Self-Sabotage…

A Slow Rearranging

The turbulence of these waves
could drown you out at sea;
swimming in saltwater with open wounds is bound to make you scream

This heart,
these hands,
this brain,
they're heavy

This body is tired of fighting a current and never drowning.

So stay strong
even when you feel all alone

Keep moving on;
the monsters that once had their claws in your back -
they're gone

No one's going to help you,
even if they'd want to.
There are things that, they will never know

So baby girl keep changing
Keep rearranging
all the thoughts that, you think you know

Just go slow
Just go slow

Author Statement

This poem was created while I was crying and trying to make something meaningful on my guitar. The words became a slow and melancholy song, through muffles of hopelessness, sobbing and exhaustion. I was deep in my battle of post-traumatic stress and this night was one of the darkest and most alone moments that I’ve experienced yet. I was landing in the reality that no one would be able to fully be able to understand my experience because I was the only one that experienced it; I was the only one there other than my perpetrator. In my mind, at the time, even the most well intentioned-folks (which there were few) wouldn’t be able to “save” me; this was very scary because I felt so alone, and I wanted, desperately, to be seen and helped and saved by anybody. It was a terrifying time to me.

Looking back now, this poem represents one of the first times that I tapped into my own strength and resilience. It felt like I was making a decision out of hopelessness and betrayal, it was deeply deeply painful… and, though I didn’t know it yet, it also was the turning point for me. I was choosing to believe in something that I didn’t know to be real or true or possible – healing, my own inner-strength, the possibility of a “good” life…

It’s taken years and there have been triggers, painful flashbacks, deep and difficult transformation, but ultimately, all great learnings towards healing and post-traumatic growth. I am proudly in a healthy relationship now, with a partner who hears me and respects me; someone who I can communicate my boundaries with and who advocates for me even when I’m not there. I have learned how to create safety for myself and have been working hard to learn how to let go of unhelpful coping mechanisms (such as people pleasing and co-dependency), in order to show up authentically in all my relationships, aligned in my truth and in touch with myself and my body’s boundaries. The journey has been hard; I’ve lost a lot of people along the way, and battled up and down with mental illness. But I am so proud of myself for how far I’ve come, for who I am now, and for the young woman who wrote this poem in her darkest times, unknowing it would become her prayer to get her through to the end <3

J.V, Canada
July 14, 2022

As a young gay teenager

Darkness is like daylight only blacker
In the darkness you can be standing within a multitude
And not know anyone is near you
I feel the same way in daylight, only I know no one is near me
A plea for help might come from a man with a fatal disease,
he cannot be helped
It might come from a condemned man for whom people have no mercy,
he cannot be helped
It might from a man who lived a long life and it is his time to go
He cannot be helped
Yet, I have neither old age, fatal disease nor crime to condemn me
Whe don’t they try to comprehend me?
I must be un-understandable. There is a cold war in this house
At night going to bed I feel so alone, like I am the only human left on earth
From 8am to 11pm I’ve spoken less than 40 words to someone other than me. I hate ME!
I need people to talk to and my world is empty of people
It’s me against a huge overpowering monster and I’m losing!
Mercenaries help fight a war...You need loyal people to really win
People who care
People who care don’t dump the war on the mercenaries lap and say fight it!
People who care get in and fight harder than the rest
They have most to lose!
How can a person be…mad alone…happy alone
He needs someone…to be mad at…to be happy with
Loneliness is terrible because you have no one to tell…you feel so alone

Help…I’m drowning in nothing
Why can I not be helped
Please help me!

Author Statement

This poem was written in the 1960’s when I was a young teenage boy undergoing different forms of gay conversion and behaviour therapies.

I have retired from a successful business life as Founder and President of a Canadian company, and garnered awards and accolades, including a lifetime achievement award.

I am happily married and celebrating 27 years together.

S.W., Canada
July 2, 2022


If I am struck down,
let it be by a thought so magnificent
it changes the shape and texture
of the universe;

If I am broken,
let be under the weight of the words
of a poet overcome by passion
and madness;

If I change,
let it be because I am evolving,
not because I’ve been trodden upon
or defeated;

If I am to be saved,
let it be by that which is
in me;

Let it be that inchoate song
that swells and strikes my heart
like lightning.

Author Statement

I was in a place of sadness and hurt (experiencing an emotional breakdown) when I wrote this poem. I wished dearly that the source of hurt I was feeling wasn’t the harmful/crippling things inflicted upon me by others–that I could, instead, be preoccupied with things that moved and inspired me. I supposed it could be likened to the difference between growing pains and pain that’s inflicted with malicious intent..? At the same time, I wished to be strong enough to overcome the things weighing down my soul. I have never had anyone I could rely on emotionally so it was, and remains, very important to me that I be the source of my own strength. At the time, I wasn’t sure I had it in me. This poem was a prayer of sorts… or at the very least, a very strong wish to persevere.

T.R.M., United States
June 23, 2022


lush fabric hangs
Tied with a ribbon of silk
No, a rubber band
Thick pads ready to absorb
A coloured liquid
Red and gold
A stain of grape
The candle flame almost gone
Pencil and paper, bleached
Tiny fibers, linen Grey
I'm sliding into dissociation
A movie of my life
Behind glassine
Make all the marks on
Mistakes are few
I see my face shadowed in light
Pressing on the pane

Author Statement

I wrote this poem to describe how I deal with something called “derealization,” which is a mental health problem that means I’m watching a movie of my life unfold before my eyes. It’s a condition I’ve had all my life and it’s a dissociative disorder. In the poem I tried to show how I use art to cope with daily episodes and being triggered into derealization, which affects me in a way where I feel numb and zoned out. I totally immerse myself in art and that is my God.

MD, Canada
June 19, 2022


I didn’t know how to tell
Who to tell
I felt scared and unsafe to tell

I was 9 when I realized something was no longer right
Not good

It was happening as far as back as 5

It felt good
I felt special

I knew to expect physical pain when revealing any kind of truth


6 years forward
I NEEDED to tell

I needed to YELL!

I wanted it ALL to stop!

I don’t want to keep remembering THE day of disclosure
I was 15
It is when and where PTSD began and… had NEVER ended

Slapped, punched, made out as the liar, the bad one, trouble maker

“Get out!!! You are disowned from this family!!!!” echo echo echo echo echo echo

Isolation became both my salvation and peace

It’s safer alone

But… I didn’t know with aloneness came blind onset of worthlessness



Survival… and surviving meant, for me… Success without “YOU!” I needed no one!!

Proving and earning my worth into International success!!

20 years old…. WHAT?!!!!

He abused more than me?!!
Someone I loved more than life myself?!!!

I felt an unforeseen force wave over me


Without fear, immense anger I without hesitation charged him!

Within one year he was found guilty on two counts;
Gross indecency with a minor
Sexual assault

Do I feel better?
I thought I would
I didn’t
Far from it

If family was distant before
I am NOW the very wrong and bad one
Made to stay away

Suicide sets in again

But I survive
Life goes on

Taking any job that has me look like I’m living my best life

Im married now
28 years old

Fast forward I become a Mom

All became my hungry quest for being a part of child abuse intervention

But how?

Finding out how meant reaching out for help, asking questions to get answers too where I felt sometimes embarrassed, guarded, vulnerable and protected

It was not a way of living I was used of
Not my normal
A full transformation

Through it all, I discovered where I thought was the weakest to display was quite the opposite for it was within EVERY human being…

When I stopped to listen to another, and another, and another that, it was in OTHER’S sharing where I rose to discover that;

Vulnerability is the GREATEST superhero trait to EVER expose

It breaks all barriers and causes a planet to shift!!!

A planet for sustainable transformational and positive change, possibilities and miracles!!

Today, I HAVE forgiven
My child offenders

I have reconciled

I am ALWAYS healing because healing is no longer a negative thought for “fixing me”… healing, for me, is a gracious, very worthy lifestyle!

Who am I?
I AM Charmaine Loverin
I would NOT be who and what I am WITHOUT everyone who has contributed to my life, whether comfortable or not
I am FOREVER grateful

Charmaine Loverin, Canada
May 21, 2022
Featured Image

Tears of Acid

Tears of acid run down my face
Tears of acid I wish to replace
Tears of acid run down my face
I wish to cry tears of joy
Tears of joy please run down my face
For years of acid I wish to replace

Carlene, Canada
May 21, 2022

The Road

Am I just a traveller on this road called life?
Passing through
Lots to do
No way of knowing how long it will be
Until I arrive,
On my journey of recovery
I will get there. I will get there.

So many yarns to unravel, some untangled
Others to unwind
Be kind
Who will I meet upon the way?
Providing comfort and hope,
On my journey of recovery
I will get there. I will get there.

Restoration of mind, peace in thy heart
My goal
Replenish the soul
Quench the thirst from a fountain of knowledge,
Gained over time from paths not always chosen
On my journey of recovery
I will get there. I will get there.

An inscription has not been moulded
My destination
Or by one’s creation
Do I walk alone or listen quietly in sound?
Graced by the presence of an unseen hand
On my journey of recovery
I will get there. I will get there.

Questions hover on the edge of silence
Should I ask?
Take off the mask
Where is the end from where it began?
Is it when the doves are released,
On my journey of recovery
I will get there. I will get there.

Weary in feet yet my body does go forth
A new sound
Gaining ground
Discover light under the gaze of darkness
A shimmering promise in the mist of the night,
On my journey of recovery
I will get there. I will get there.

A moment will arise when time pauses to hear
A powerful voice

My choice
To change the pace for clock hands to move
When the past leaves the present, with a future so bright
On my journey of recovery
I will get there. I will get there.

Author Statement

When I wrote this poem, it was a conversation with myself. An acknowledgement and acceptance that I still am travelling on my journey but that is okay. A reminder to be kind to myself and although I may still carry the pain and knowledge of what I have been through, my road ahead has not been carved out in stone from what has happened to me, but is a road of determination to keep going, not to ever give up hope that things will get better and my voice is and will continue to be my strength. I wanted to remind myself that whilst it may seem a very long road to walk, I will get there.

E Shane, United Kingdom
May 21, 2022


Shame has immobilized my words.
But not my participation.
Layers of shame prevent the words from coming forward.
I’m searching for them, but they are locked away.
One day I will find them.
And release them…forever.
But today, I can let them know that,
“I’m coming for you
And when I find you,
I will be free.

Author Statement

When I set out to write the poem, I couldn’t find any words. I didn’t want to deal with having to think about this part of my history. I came up against a wall that blocked any visiting of the old hurts and abuses of the past. I didn’t care for the weakness I felt when I tried to find the words… and then I realized it was the shame… preventing me from thinking about or visualizing this trauma. It was too much for me. So these are the words I found.

C.S., Canada
April 8, 2022

The Gatehouse