Yes, you read that right – not the third wheel, but the fourth prong.
Regular readers may be familiar with my famous (infamous?) three-pronged approach to mental illness:
- Medication: taking the right dose at the right time
- Strategies: an umbrella term covering anything which helps me to live with my illness, ranging from regular exercise to socializing to writing, and including the skills learnt through CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy) and DBT (my newest acronym-strategy – dialectic behavioural therapy)
- Psychotherapy: to explore my psychohistory and deal with the deep-rooted psychological seeds of my condition.
I describe it as a “three pronged approach” because “three-legged octopus undergoing continual spastic, tentacle-intertwining contractions” may be more accurate, but isn’t quite as catchy.
Last week, my husband declared himself the “fourth prong”. (Well, what actually happened went more like this: he made the declaration; I refused to agree to anything I wasn’t privy to; we negotiated, and came to a mutual – and mutually accountable – arrangement.)
What’s the fourth prong? Well, once more we went through a series of names, but arrived at “The Reality Coach”. Unlike the rest of my mental health team, he who lives with me is going to be on top of the day-to-day practical stuff. (In return, I get to comment on his problem behaviours, i.e. alcohol use.)
My first task from The Reality Coach was to clear the livingroom of detritus. Today was the deadline. I chose to interpret this as “sometime today” but have actually already nearly finished, at 0822 hours. Sadly, my husband doesn’t believe my laptop should live in the livingroom (WTF?!) but thankfully he works full-time, and what he doesn’t see while he’s away at ‘play’ won’t hurt him.
So, here’s to a new chapter in my life: that of the Four Prongs. And here’s to hoping the Fourth Prong brings peace and an improvement in lifestyle, rather than strife in the home!