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Karl's Story

“I see a future where my kids can look up to me, where I can once again be a pillar in my community.”

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A Slow Fade: Karl’s Path to Recovery

Karl’s a resident at Sundram Manor, and his initial battle with opioids began innocuously. It all started with a prescription meant to ease the pain from a severe back injury. However, the relief provided by the medication soon spiraled into dependency. “It was like a slow fade,” Karl recalls. “One day, you’re taking them because you’re in pain, and before you know it, you can’t go a day without them.” His realization of addiction’s grip on him marked the first step towards seeking help.

After a challenging journey, Karl achieved sobriety, a state he maintained diligently for 11 years. During this period of recovery, he discovered a passion for barbering, which not only became his profession but also a significant part of his identity. “When I was cutting hair, I was extremely busy and I was making good money.” The highlight of his career was opening his barber shop—a dream realized through hard work and dedication. However, the COVID-19 pandemic led to unforeseen devastation in Karl’s life. The mandatory closures and the ensuing economic downturn led to the loss of his beloved shop. “Losing the shop was like losing a part of myself. It was more than just a business; it was a community, a place where stories and lives intertwined.”

The pandemic not only took away Karl’s livelihood but also ushered in a period of profound isolation and depression. The lack of social interaction and the dismantling of his routine contributed to a feeling of despair. “I felt like I was in a tunnel with no light at the end,” he says. This sense of hopelessness led him to seek solace in alcohol.

From Sharp Edges to Smooth Beginnings

His drinking reached a critical level, prompting a swift intervention by his family. Recognizing the impact his addiction had on his family, especially his two children, served as a wake-up call. His desire to be a present and positive figure in their lives motivated him to pursue recovery earnestly. Karl opens up about the other critical moments leading to his recovery, highlighting the rapid deterioration of his health due to his drinking. Karl had to confront the serious consequences of his drinking: liver damage. This diagnosis was a pivotal moment, highlighting the tangible toll that alcohol had taken on his body in just two years. Faced with the stark reality of his declining health and the possibility of not being there for his children, Karl found the resolve to change his life.

His mother and sister have been his cheerleaders, their relationship blossoming in ways he never anticipated. Their support, combined with his intrinsic motivation, forms the cornerstone of his recovery. Furthermore, his relationship with his daughter’s mother, spanning 17 years, evolved into a friendship that Karl treasures deeply. He credits her, along with his family, as the foundation of his recovery, acknowledging their role as indispensable to his progress.

Cuts of Courage: Trimming the Past, Styling the Future

Recognizing the destructive path he was on, Karl sought help at Caz Recovery and Sundram Manor, a decision that marked the beginning of his second journey toward recovery. Caz Recovery offered not just a path to sobriety but also a sense of community and belonging. “The people at Caz didn’t just see me as an addict; they saw me as a person with a future,” Karl explains.

Karl’s progress at Caz was significant. He not only celebrated milestones of sobriety and family reunification, but he also found a way to reconnect with his passion for barbering. By offering haircuts to fellow residents, he not only honed his skills but also provided a sense of normalcy and care within the community. “Barbering is more than just cutting hair; it’s about listening, connecting, and transforming. It was my way of giving back,” he states.

Looking to the future, Karl has laid out a five-year plan centered around rebuilding his life. This plan includes maintaining sobriety, reconnecting with his children, and potentially opening a new barbershop. “I see a future where my kids can look up to me, where I can once again be a pillar in my community,” Karl envisions.

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