Because life doesn't always give you lemons. Survivin & Thrivin is a podcast hosted by Em Ledger. Each episode features a special guest sharing their experiences
S1 Ep 20: Living With Bereavement w/ Guest Sally
In this episode, Em talks to Sally. Sally experienced a major loss in her life when her younger brother sadly passed away when they were both in their teens. She describes what grief feels like to her, how the trauma from grief can manifest in different ways over many years, how important it is to check in with yourself along the way, the importance of learning what grief can do to your mind and body, learning to care for yourself and give space for your feelings and needs. Sally is now a parent and foster carer and she also talks about what her experiences have provided her with when it comes to resilience, empathy and emotional literacy for those around her
S1 Ep19: Being A Dad w/ Guest Dave
In this episode Em talks to Dave. Dave is a father to two young girls and as it's Father's Day this week, he shares his experiences of what it's really like to plan to be and then become a father. What is the expectation vs. reality? What changes for you as a person? What's it like to see yourself in someone else and does having your own kids make you see your own childhood (and the relationship between you and your own parents) differently? We talk about his hopes for the future and knowing what he knows now - what he believes makes a good parent
S1 Ep18: Surviving Domestic Abuse w/ Guest Lorna
In this episode, Em chats to Lorna. Lorna shares her story of what it's really like to be in an abusive relationship. How does it start? How does it develop? What makes it so hard to leave? What does that long term manipulation do to you and your self worth? Lorna describes a 6yr relationship with her abuser and the many times she wanted to and even tried to leave but the brainwashing, as she describes it, kept her right where he wanted her. Thankfully, she was able to leave shortly after the birth of her son and she shares with us what that healing process looks like and how she can now look to the future, free from violence.
S1 Ep17: Thriving As A Wrong Un w/ Guest Hywel
In this episode, Em chats to Hywel. The name of this episode comes from Hywel's own description of himself as a 'wonky wrong un.' He shares his experience of leaving the Welsh valleys as a teenager with complex feelings about his working class identity, his early 20s as a homeless, couch surfing singer in a hardcore punk band, years of excess and realising it was time to embrace recovery, being in AA in his 20s, the importance of queer family and community, discovering who he truly was when becoming sober, coming out as a trans man in his 30s and what makes him happy now and getting into university to become a therapist
S1 Ep16: Living With Severe Mental Illness w/ Guest Neil
In this episode, Em chats to Neil. Neil has battled mental illness for a long time now and has survived multiple attempts at suicide, he made it out of a specialist hospital after being sectioned and he's here to tell his story from the best place he's been in his life so far. We talk about how to get a diagnosis, what it's like to live with bipolar and borderline personality disorder (BPD), DBT therapy, what it's like to have a mental illness when you're neurodivergent (ADHD) and the skills learned over the years to get to know yourself and manage the way your brain works as best you can
Content warning: references made to self harm, suicide and being sectioned. Details of the specifics eg. method of attempted suicide however, are not mentioned
S1 Ep15: The Trauma of Sexual Assault & Racism w/ Guest Emma
In this episode, Em chats to Emma. Emma is of East Asian heritage and she talks about the impacts of racism from being very young and how it shaped her feeling of safety in the world. We discuss the concept of cumulative trauma and how, after surviving a sexual assault later in life, this added traumatic event compounded those earlier feelings. We talk about what it's like to live with PTSD, how our brains respond to trauma, the structures of power at play, how difficult it can be to exist in the world as a survivor, and how important it can be to share your experience (if you can).
As we are both women in tech, we also talk about what it's like to be in Equality, Diversity & Inclusion groups in the workplace and the desire for change and representation but also the cognitive load, vulnerability, and extra time and effort spent with little/no compensation for your efforts.
Content warning: There are open discussions of racism and sexual assault throughout. No specific details of the actual assaults themselves are shared.
Like having a listen in to some friends chatting and having a great time!