Susan Berg's life was forever changed at the age of 15 when she was the only survivor of a tragic boating accident that claimed the lives of her parents and older brother. Stricken with survivor guilt, Susan spiralled into a life of self-hatred, anxiety, and hopelessness. But after many years, Susan discovered the tools to heal her heart and find happiness within herself. She chronicled her journey in her autobiography "The Girl Who Lived," published in 2015.
In 2016, as part of her ongoing recovery, Susan accepted a challenge to face her 30-year crippling fear of water and swim the challenging 1.2-kilometre Lorne Pier to Pub race. It took 14 months of intense training and an enormous amount of mental fortitude, but Susan managed to successfully complete the challenge. Since then, Susan has pushed herself even further by competing in ultra-marathons, including a 4-person relay of the English Channel and the Rottnest Channel, which spans 20 kilometres!
Today, Susan combines her passion for open water with her desire to help others overcome personal obstacles and achieve their dreams. She has established Ocean Blue Swimming Tours, offering swimming vacations in exotic locations throughout Europe, and she also leads online workshops, teaching people how to achieve their dreams step-by-step.
Susan is a highly sought-after motivational speaker, sharing her story of triumph over trauma. She believes that everyone deserves a joyful life, regardless of the challenges they have faced. Susan encourages others to find inner peace and to be brave enough to step outside of their comfort zones in order to live life to the fullest.
susan's ultra-marathon journey
your transformational journey
The Girl Who Lived is the true story of a teenage girl's fight to find happiness.
At fifteen, Susan Berg was on a boat trip with her parents and brother when their vessel began to sink. Desperate to find help, she swam ahead, struggling through darkness and rough sea. After nearly four hours, Susan, exhausted and barely able to walk, finally made it ashore. Her family did not.
Wracked by survivor guilt, Susan began to rebel against the world, charging down a path of self-destruction. Though barely able to look after herself, she became a mother at twenty and had to navigate for two. It was not until many years later, when Susan cheated death for a second time, that she learned to love herself, and life again.
Written in a brutally honest manner, The Girl Who Lived is a candid, dramatic and powerful memoir for anyone who has ever lost their way.
The Girl Who Lived is Published in Australia by Affirm Press.
International e-Book purchases can be made via Amazon, iBook, Kobo and Barnes & Noble.
This book should be compulsory reading in every university course on resilience. Susan's story highlights the immediate and lasting impacts of trauma, the vulnerabilities and strengths in so many relationships afterwards, and the true nature of resilience. It is her ability, in her own words, to 'give thanks for the beauty of life' that is around her, and that enables her to look to her future that is the contagious and optimistic message of this book. It is a devastatingly good read about surviving life's tragedies.
Professor Louise Harms
Deputy Head of Social Work and Director of Teaching & Learning, Melbourne School of Social Sciences,
UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
Riveting. Drags you along for the ride. A true story of survival and resilience with so many twists and turns that had me gasping, laughing, crying and not wanting to put it down. With intense honesty and vulnerability, Susan Berg reveals the strength of character which not only saved her life but gave her life back."
On Saturday I stumbled upon a book written by a very brave and resilient woman, The Girl Who Lived by Susan Berg. I felt privileged to be reading her brutally honest story. I read it overnight, I just could not put it down. Not often are we invited into someone else's really dark times but when Susan writes even the most difficult parts of her story it is as if she is trusting you the reader as if you are her closest friend. Honest and from the heart Susan's story will grab you like she has grabbed your hand and pulled you into her world. But she wants to let you know how she has more than survived, she has lived. With all that she has lived through she has empathy, insight and strength. And there is a wonderful kindness that comes through the wisdom she shares. Bravo Susan Berg.
Wow! What an inspirational story. This book kept me hooked from the first page to the last. An amazing story of courage, hope and commitment. Loved it!!