Profile in Recovery: Carmen Torres

I grew up in the Bronx. I can only remember back when I was thirteen years old. Anything before that is in bits and pieces and is mostly traumatic. My parents were separated early on. I can remember always feeling isolated and "less than", unwanted, and mostly confused. Both my parents were alcoholics, addicts and dysfunctional. The worst part is that I can't remember a lot of my upbringing before thirteen years old (very frustrating).

Anyhow, I used drugs socially at age fourteen when hanging out with motorcycle gangs and partying. When my Mom died (she committed suicide) I was seventeen years old, in school, working, and had my very first apartment. When that trauma happened I lost control of my life and went on a serious self-destruction mission from 18 to 30-something years old.

I kept trying to get my life back but could not do it alone until I was introduced to the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of a fellowship in 1989. Since then I've been clean and sober. My life had been a rollercoaster from the start. However, the rides are at two different levels. I found out that none of the drugs or alcohol I used made any difference and that I had to change myself and things would get better.

Oh! In between all these things, I managed to go to the Army for six years, finish school, and got trained in computer and office machine repair. Today I feel blessed and gifted in my journey of recovery and I found that I am very in tune with my feelings. I'm not a bad person at all. I just made bad decisions and I still do- but I am able to get better with them. Lots of times I wish I could start my life all over because I feel like I'm still "stuck on stupid" for lack of better words.

I would like to close by saying that now I try to take my life one day at a time and if anyone would like to know more about me and my stories, please feel free to contact me at 718-741-0534. I would love to write a book on my life if I could only gather all the pieces together. I hope I help someone.