Over 28 years ago, when I was in my early to mid 20s, I began searching for solutions to my drug and alcohol problems. Little did I know, at that time, that those were only “symptoms” of the problem/s, as were the emotional and psychological problems that I was displaying.
By that time I had worked in 2 main industries; construction and hospitality. I also had a few trials in other industries.
When I entered “recovery” I began reading a lot of self-help books, BUT quickly moved onto books about philosophy and psychology, which I couldn’t get enough of.
Four years later I entered a foundation course, at Ayr College, on the “life-long learning” initiative in Scotland. The course was modeled on a single university semester and was designed to prepare (mature) students for further and higher education.
The following year, in 1998/99 I entered the Scottish Access Course in Social Sciences at Aberdeen college and Aberdeen University. I passed all my modules, (at both college and university), however, this was not a degree course. The main subjects studied included sociology, psychology, politics, economics, theology, and communications, among others.
By the beginning of the following academic year, I had become a father and there was a distinct need to acquire gainful employment. I have spent most of the intervening years working between the construction and hospitality industries at various times – until recently.
My love for the social sciences, (psychology and sociology in particular), never left me and I have continued to read research reports and anything else I could find on these subjects and conduct my own self-directed study on these and many related subjects over the years.
As mentioned above, during the summer of 2012 I had a life-altering, (spiritual), experience and it was then that I began to look for ways to help others.
At the beginning of 2013 I started a group on meetup .com and began hosting and facilitating events in Belfast. That first group ran for approximately 3 years.
During 2016/17 I started The Big Questions Project, organised two mastermind groups and completed an online course in life coaching.
During the summer of 2018 my second wife passed away, having been diagnosed with cancer, (stage 4), during the spring of 2017.
Shortly after this I started a peer support group for the bereaved, those who were socially isolating, feeling lonely and/or depressed. After a year we took the group, (based in Belfast, NI at that time), online and I opened the Facebook page and this blog, both with the same title, “Living Happy with Zander Glasgow”. The group, previously named BILD-A-Network, was renamed “Mental Health and Emotional Resilience” (MHaER), and a page of the same name was automatically created by Facebook which I duly snapped up. The “Living Happy” Facebook page and this blog have since been renamed to the current theme and title.
Since 2018, I have taken 3 more courses with Aware NI. (billed as the Depression Charity for Northern Ireland).
The courses I took are as follows:
- Living Life to the Full
- Mood Matters (Adults) and
- Mental Health First Aid
I am currently undertaking a 3 Principles Facilitator course and a course entitled “Understanding Suicide and Suicide Prevention Strategies in a Global Context” with the University of Glasgow. Neither of these courses carry a certificate of completion.
After completing the courses with Aware NI, I started my coaching career.
My coaching draws on my 28 years of experience in my own recovery via a 12 step program, the studies in formal education, the coaching qualification and my self-directed studies in psychology, emotional resilience and related topics, including neuropsychology, as well as the 3 Principles facilitator course.
I continue to take further online courses of education, mainly via futurelearn.com, and to seek new, relevant information from various, reliable, online sources.
My main areas of interest, (and coaching), are Emotional and Mental Resilience, which I equate to Psychological and Emotional Well-being.