WSV’s Charles Thomas writes, “Denial is considered an unhealthy defense mechanism while suppression is considered healthy. Sure, you could sit around all day and ponder the inevitability of death, but thanks to suppression, most of us are able to put that nasty little detail out of our minds and do the dishes, mow the lawn or write the column. But the denial of death, on the other hand, can lead to people making risky decisions or living what Plato called ‘an unexamined life.’ When it comes to defense mechanisms, it’s important to make the healthy choice.”

WSV’s Charles Thomas writes, “I know a lot of people my age often talk about how contemporary music isn’t as good as it was when they were younger, but that hasn’t been my impression. There’s still a lot of great music being made in 2021. What has struck me, though, as I compare the music of my youth to the music of today is the general lack of musicianship in today’s popular music. I’ve sampled dozens of popular songs in the last few weeks and I’ve been struck by the total and complete lack of songs featuring a guitar solo, or any instrumental solo for that matter.”

WSV Columnist Charles Thomas writes, “While it’s great to aim high, such lofty goals have a major downside. When our resolution is to lose 50 pounds, it’s hard to get very excited when we’ve lost five pounds. That’s just a drop in the bucket, a mere 10 percent of the goal! But when we start smaller and make our initial goal to lose five pounds, we can celebrate an actual victory as we plan how to take the next step.”

In the real world, recovery from addiction is often a lengthy and agonizing process, both for the addict and their loved ones. Recovery happens in fits and starts and repeated relapse is almost always part of the marathon road to sobriety. In fact, real world recovery looks less like that The Bold and the Beautiful storyline and more like the public trials being faced by St. Joseph County Prosecutor John McDonough.

“Nine years ago, my family and I said our final goodbyes to our home on East Street in Three Rivers and moved into the big world beyond the triple ripples. Well actually, we moved up to Portage, which I suppose isn’t really that big or that far away, but the move was the closing of one chapter of our lives and the beginning of another. We lived in TR for over 12 years, years that were undoubtedly some of the happiest of my life.”

“It had been an amazing 24 hours. Three Rivers was even more electric than when the football team won the state championship. The media frenzy, which had started with just the local affiliates, had spread to the national networks. The Today Show and Good Morning America had sent correspondents to report live from the 131 Gas and Go, and half the town was outside in the background to witness the biggest thing to happen to Three Rivers in its over 150-year history.”