I dream, set goals and better my life and myself to fulfill whatever my heart desires.

My name is Carmen Zoraida Batista and I am a person in recovery. I am a 38 year old Latina woman, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt as well as many other roles in people’s lives. It wasn’t always like that. I am a person that lives with drug, alcohol and mental health challenges. For a long time I was merely a diagnosis. I was viewed as someone incapable of achieving or doing anything with her life. I was left to die that way, without any family, no children and alone. No hopes, no dreams, no motivation, no education and nothing to look forward in life.

Today my life has changed drastically. It all began when someone took the time to show up every day and take interest in helping me achieve what I wanted out of life. They provided me with resources to make sure that I was safe and I had all the essentials to survive. Without it, I would have given up the first time.

I couldn’t express myself. I couldn’t get up from the couch. I couldn’t tell you how I was hurting inside because of the entire trauma that I encountered when I was just a toddler. How do you really put together all that pain and ask someone to help you…to grab your hand and walk with you to this dark tunnel that seems to have no way out?

I asked for help and found it. She continued to show up modeling recovery and giving me hope. Most importantly, she walked in my shoes, sharing feelings, emotions and struggles. It was an immediate connection. For the first time I wasn’t alone. I realized there was someone else just like me.

She was inspiring. I felt courage to trust that my life can get better. For the first time, I felt what hope meant. I became open minded and willing to ask for help and find a way out of that dark tunnel that was impossible for me to do before.

My here, right now is beyond comprehensive. I am a person that has overcome her challenges and learned to live and accept that some just don’t go away. That doesn’t mean that I have to limit myself. I dream, set goals and better my life and myself to fulfill whatever my heart desires. With God and hard work anything is possible. The sky is the limit!

I continue in recovery, help others. I’ve been at my job for over two years, working with people just like me and sharing the HOPE. My family is back in my life including my children. I am a college student and a couple of months ago I graduated from a Certified Peer Specialist Program and I continue to rely on my Higher Power, The 12 Step program, sponsorship and a great network of friends and family. Never Give Up! If I did it, YOU can do it Too! HAPPY, JOYOUS and FREE!

I will see you in our happy destiny!!!!