I want to write about a subject that’s close to my heart. I have a daughter that suffers from mental illness her diagnosis is Paranoid Schizophrenia along with a drug addiction to Crack Cocaine. Due to her dual diagnosis it has made it extremely hard to reach her.

 My sentiments are to the family members who have loved ones, who suffer with mental illness, may God Bless you and keep you and I encourage you to continue to support your love one.

If they are in their addiction, I encourage you to facilitate recovery for them. I realize that as a parent it zaps the strength out of you, especially when the one you love disappears for days at time, jumping in and out of cars with strangers and putting themselves in dangerous and harm’s way. It is scary to expect or know that something can happen to my daughter out there in this cruel world. I wish that she would be healthy again but until then I’ve learned to move beyond acceptance and coping as her father, I will be there for her until the end.  I only wished that I could fix the problem. My message is just be that life coach that your love one needs, do all you can to help them take back their life.

My daughter does not realize how sick she is, one minute she will call me and say I love you daddy and the next minute she will call back and say you’re not my father! She has repeated cycle of up and down moods/emotions but I have sympathy for her. It’s okay if we as parents lower those expectations because a love one has took a different path. My thing is I want my daughter to enjoy life on her terms, I don’t want to put any more pressure on her, she is more important to me right now than trying to register her into college.

I can’t imagine how my daughter feels but it must be pretty scary to be lost and not have a peace of mind. Personally, I don’t think having mental illness is ever pleasant; I’ve witnessed it in my daughter’s actions as soon as there is a setback she just blows like the wind. It’s horrible; she not only has a mental illness but also suffers from it. This is more than telling our loved one to pull themselves up by the boot strap because this is a different battle than what I had to go through during my crack addiction. What they faced with mental illness is real; it is as real as cancer and heart disease.

We as caregivers for our love ones should ensure that they get the proper treatment; personally I’m grateful that I can be there for my daughter. I think as their primary caregivers we can assist them in living an effective and full life, that’s our job to help them to regain a life of normalcy. I know that when my daughter hurts, I hurt it’s not that she lacks the willpower to get well it’s because this disease is bigger than us. I’m willing to try anything even taking her on nature walks etc.

I also believe that as long as I maintain a life of fulfillment of my duties as a person in recovery but also a commitment to my daughter as a daddy who is there for her; everything will be alright.



Sergeant Matthew Douglas Goodin