Community Happiness – That’s Where It’s At!

by Monica on June 15, 2015

Don at the #Finals #Allin #ClevelandHave you ever heard that one addict’s behavior affects a multitude of people? Statistics say there are 20 million people in the United States that are afflicted by an addiction of some kind. What I’ve seen, through others’ experiences, is that it’s hard to become clean and sober. Even more amazing is for the clean and sober person to stay that route for years upon years.

Through many personal trials and tribulations, my best friend, Don Matis Jr. celebrates being clean and sober for twenty-nine years! You know what’s so fantastic? He’s not “just clean and sober”, a great gift and cause of joy and hope, but he labors to achieve a work ethic that reflects a deep emotional and spiritual maturity. Expanding on this point, he reads AND puts “in action” what he reads. If you could see the college library of Catholic books and in-depth articles of various subjects that he has accumulated, you’d think he got a degree from some prestigious Catholic college. How does he “put it in action”? Wherever he is, 24/7, that’s where he puts Christ in action. Listening to, Praying with, and “just being Don” furthers his personal mission to create community and happiness.

What does his sobriety mean to me? It means I have a friend who’s gone through so much tragedy and personal suffering, along with having a chronic disease (ulcerative colitis), and yet doesn’t complain about it. He doesn’t go on and on about the difficulties and the obstacles in his life. You know what he does do? Brings a smile to your face.  Responds that “It’s Great To Be Alive” to the question of how are you? Makes you laugh at yourself. He reminds you that we only have this moment. We could die today. Let’s enjoy the moments we have together. He demonstrates what it means to “give it to God” and “let go”. Life isn’t Polly Anna but you can be “happy go lucky”. Chicken Little is dead, he’ll say. What do you have to worry about? God’s going to take care of us. He shows us His love time and again. Listen to St. Padre Pio, “Don’t let your heart be troubled. Worry is useless.”

God has truly blessed me to be in such a great friendship with such an advocate of happiness! He’s been my personal advocate, coach, counselor, cheerleader, confidence booster, best friend, and leader to a deeper Catholic faith life for over twenty-two years.

Thank you, Don Matis Jr., for allowing me to share in your life and mission for true happiness! Congratulations on this milestone of sobriety and clean healthy living!

Here’s too many more years of sharing, caring, and deep committed Catholic friendship. I’m challenging myself to be a better friend to you, Don Matis Jr.! Come join me! Feel free to add your experiences with Don to the comments below!

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