Carlos Costa goes Beyond the Beard and Shares the Story of his Life

Josh Lawson

Here is our piolet episode of our Keep on Growing series where members of Team Beardbrand will be interviewed and will be tested to see how well their sense of smell is. Today we have Carlos Costa. He was a very energetic kid mainly because he ate a lot of sugar, and he had to burn the energy somehow. That resulted in him becoming a very naughty child. His parents are divorced, so he spent a lot of time with his grandmother. His mom had to work two jobs to support them both. He missed her a lot, although she was there at night. Carlos always felt he wanted more. He recounted it was nice to grow up with his grandmother, but there was always something missing, always a void. He only saw his dad roughly once a year, twice if he was lucky. He lived north and his dad lived south, so it was really only during summer holidays or random trips that he got to see his father. That probably affected his emotional growth and maybe part of it is the reason he became a bit of a rebel. Then, he started doing drugs very young.

Carlos was more interested in sports than creative arts. He wanted to be accepted. To fill the void of missing his mom. He joined every sport that his friends were interested in; handball, volleyball, football, and basketball. All of those were on his practice schedule because everyone else was doing them, not because he actually liked them. Although, he did get very interested in volleyball and football and still loves to play football, and by that, he means soccer in America. He like's to say he was good at it, and always in the popular group. Where ever he wanted to fit in, that's where he managed to fit in. There was never a notion of whether that was good or bad, but he always pushed himself to be near the top. Carlos could've been a professional footballer, even played semi-pro, but if it wasn't for the drugs... he took a different path.

When chose not to focus on sports and classes and turned to drugs he got kicked out of school at the age of 16. He went back and tried to do a mechanics course, but a lot of people quit, and at the end, there were only about four of them, so he just kinda left. Then he found a job in a bakery, part-time, but he didn't really want to do that. To fund his drug habit, he sold drugs. He went to a lot of parties and sold ecstasy, hash, and pot. At 19 the word addict was thrown around a lot. He's still full of beans, and still wants to party even though he knew it was bad. At that point he said, Ay fuck it! He was just gonna sell a lot of drugs. He realized he had a heroin habit as well, and it was physically painful for him, even after he stopped using.

Carlos first went to recovery at 21. He felt it happened really quickly. At 21 he got arrested for a few days and was suffered from withdrawal while he was being held. He didn't go to prison probably because he had no previous charges and was relatively young. The judge gave him three years of suspended sentence, he had to get clean and had to get a job. He was able to do all of that within that year. He spent 2-3 months at his mom's house with a doctor so that he could recover and detox. Germany offered better opportunities for him and offered more money, so he went back. But, the problem didn't go away, it followed him and he started using again.

It wasn't until he went back to Portugal, fell in the love (the mother of his daughter) moved to England, and quickly had a kid. To fill the void of the drugs, alcohol was used as a crutch. The drinks weren't enough though, and he began using crack cocaine when his daughter was only three years old. The feeling of guilt and regret was overwhelming. Carlos went to his boss at the time, the head chef of the restaurant he worked in and asked for two weeks off to clean up his act. He was honest with them and told them how he was struggling. This isn't was life is about. The path really changed when he was in his usual spot, and taking his drug substitute, and was approached by an Italian guy who really helped see the truth and showed him that there's more to life than doing drugs.

Treatment was hard, and the thought of leaving occurred to him several times, but it was the best thing he can remember doing. All the years of emotions, feelings, and fears start coming up and you have no idea where they come from. You never see it coming, and can even learn new emotions in the process. Without treatment, Carlos would've never learned how to deal with underlying issues, how to forgive, ask for forgiveness, and how to move on with your life for the better.

In Rehab, he did volunteer work. The guys that worked they offered to help him get back to college and get a job, and just what he did; course by course. He saw a little bit of himself in everyone that came through the door and loved having the opportunity to help them. It made him grow. By helping them he was helping himself.

No matter what happens in your life there is always a way out. You can't do it alone though, you need to ask for help. Once you get there, just stick with it. The future for Carlos hold marriage in August, to the love of his life, maybe another kid, and he's thinking of moving to Austin. The future of Carlos Costa is a better and better version of Carlos Costa.

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  • Wow, not what I expected when I clicked on to do my usual blog reading whilst sat on the loo; talk about honesty. Thanks for sharing.

    Mark Bowie on

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