An Open Book…

I am generally a really happy person.  Most of you probably can tell that from my posts and blogs.  Today I received an e-mail from someone telling me that I had to be hiding secrets and that my happiness was a front for my misery. This person suggested that it was his responsibility to tell you the truth about Cheryl Maloney.  

For those of you who have read the “Simple Steps… Real Change” book (it’s a free download here) my life is pretty much an open book.  It is through sharing what I’ve been through that I believe others can know that they are not alone. 

For those of you that are new to our page or website and don’t know me…  here are some of the high (or low) points.  I’m 55, unemployed…and have been for the most part since March 2009.  I had a 24 year career with one company and when they were acquired my position was eliminated.  Jack & I relocated to Texas for his job leaving our home of 20 years and our friends.  We knew no one here.   Shortly thereafter Jack was diagnosed with chronic leukemia & skin cancer.  My parents moved into a home on our property a couple years ago.  Dad died unexpectedly in May of this year and I’ve become the primary caregiver for my blind 82 year old mother.  During the housing boom we invested in rental properties in Ohio that we lost when the housing market tanked.  We’ve gone from living the dream to starting all over again….and I’ve experienced every emotion you can imagine with these major challenges in our lives. 

What I came to realize through all of these experiences is that I could choose to be miserable or I could choose to be happy.  At times I chose to be miserable.  At times I wanted to hide under the covers and hope all the bad things would go away.  That’s ok.  I needed to give myself time to adjust to change .  I’ve been depressed, I’ve eaten my way through my pain and I’ve hidden in my own little world. 

In the end I chose to be happy.  I learned more about myself than I have lost in these trials  and tribultations.   I choose to share my story with others because I knew that I couldn’t be alone in my experiences.  Writing is my therapy and our Facebook Page is my joy.  Simple Steps… Real Change has grown because we are a safe harbor for everyone to share their stories, ask for support, provide inspiration and connect to like minded, positive focused friends. 

We are not alone and together we can help others who are experiencing a part of their journey that we have already completed.  While today we may be struggling tomorrow we will be inspiring. And that feels good!

My name is Cheryl Maloney and I wrote this message.  Hugs to all!  

22 thoughts on “An Open Book…

  1. Cheryl, your honesty is truly gorgeous! Thank you for sharing, and you have made me feel more courageous today to start living the life I truly desire!
    Sheri

  2. Cheryl, I just recently found your site and I'm going thru some of your old blogs. It is so amazing how open and honest you are and how you seem to live your life to help others every day and obviously are doing that moment by moment!!!! I won't even comment about the person who emailed you as many of the others have so we know what probably causes people to do such odd things. I just wanted to say, Bless you, HAPPY NEW YEAR, and I'm so glad I find your FB Page, Website and Blogs. Now I know where to turn when I'm having a bad day and I've already sent some friend here. God gives us all challeges…..I've had my share over the past few years and as I have read you have had MANY. You have chosen to take these challenges, make yourself stronger and help others, you are an AMAZING person. God Bless you sweet lady (and Jack too :0) ).

  3. Hi Cheryl, I love your site and your thought process. I have been throuhg so many challenges throughout my life. It was only when I was diagnosed with cancer that I began a journey of dealing with life through a set of approaches, all of which are parallel to the thoughts on life you have shared here. I was 30 when diagnosed with breast cancer. 5 years later again I was diagnosed with cancer in my other breast. I originally had surgery & radiation, the second time I added chemo to the same regimen. At first, I thought I had to change so many things to become healthier. I already ate right, exercised, and didn't smoke or drink. But, I learned the most detrimental of all to our mind, body and soul is stress and learning to let go and accept things i life is half the battle. 7 years after my 2nd diagnosis I received another blow and was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, which is very deadly. It has been almost 8 YEARS and I am happy to be alive. Everyday I give thanks for being alive and do not dwell on the past. I am now heading down a road I didnt think would be possible, but I am divorcing, and buying a house on my own. I reached that breaking point after trying to hold onto my marriage and realized it wasn't going to work. So, I decided to take control of my life, by making the decision to seperate and move on. When I say I took control, I really let go, made some tough decisions, because basically my spouse wasn't and it pretty much forced my hand. But, by doing that it relieved a great deal of stress, not all of it, but about half. I'm taking one step at a time and one day at a time, and try to live each day, in the "moment" without thinking too much about the past or the future. I learned that we have plans and God has plans and sometimes they are not always the same. By letting go, and accepting the things we have control over and the the things we don't, I was able to realize I had the power to make some decisions and make changes in my life. I wrote out affirmations and read them everyday to help empower myself, read as many self-help and spiritual books I could get my hands on.
    Now, I am adding your website to my bookmarks and passing along to friends. I live my life to seek peacefullness and happiness. I try to do something everyday that I enjoy. Sometimes it is just putting on my ipod and listening to my favorite music before I go to sleep.

    Namaste, Kristine

  4. I think you are very brave to share you story with all of us. I just lost my father on 10-10-10. I have been a fan of your website for a few months before that, and I have to say that I am finding it hard to be positive and happy and uplifted right now. I am sad, so sad. So, thank you for sharing your "back story" on why and how you came to write SSRC. I often wondered while I was reading it what brought you to do it. Now I know. And to the person who thought it was his duty to send you that email, he should look in his own mirror and figure out what his own story is, and work on it. Not worry about yours. Thanks for your words that we often dont realize we need but realize we do after reading them.
    Lisa

  5. Ah, Cheryl…what a beautiful testament to the power of not only positivity but also transparency and humanity. You model all three of those things beautifully and the world needs more of what you have to offer. Thank you for sharing and for all you do! Blessings to you today and always.

  6. Hi Cheryl, I'm sorry I didn't see this sooner, I would of written sooner. I know the pain of someone coming to you out of sheer meaness and bad intentions and how deeply it hurts. I'm always asking myself or God or my husband…why do people get so mean. I just don't get it. This guy is a jerk, obviously and has a problem all his own! Just like part of the Four Agreements state, 'nothing anyone else says or does is because of you", not an exact quote i'm sure. but the point is YOU are a wonderful loving person and "that guy" has a big problem all his own. SSRC is an amazing sight for us all, we all feel with our hearts and souls and you encourage and support and love us so openly.I'll talk to you more on our wall page, but just know you are loved. Joy xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  7. You Go Girl!!!

    Cheryl, although I have traveled on different paths, our lives parallel in so many ways. Very similar paths that I believe God allows us to travel to share with others and understand life as a whole much more. Happiness is a Choice! I choose Happiness. As you said, that doesn't mean we don't have our days. We are normal human beings and definitely not perfect, but we know we only have one life on this Earth and we choose to make the BEST of it!

    Thank you. You are a blessing to all, a beautiful person!
    God Blesses us with your presence in our lives.
    God is with you always!

  8. I've had a lot of ups and downs and if there is one thing I've learned, it's that your attitude is the one thing that you have control over.

    I went on a cruise in 2000 and it was so peaceful that I realized that there was a better way to live my life. Since then I have made an effort to stay positive no matter what. Being down just makes any situation worse.

    Some people just like to be unhappy and they want everyone around them to be the same. I try my best to avoid those people.

  9. Thank you Cheryl — your posts are so uplifting. I've been going through some rough times and your story proves that people can still go on through adversity. Thank you for the uplift.

    Denise

  10. Cheryl,
    Many who are unhappy must impose their beliefs on others. You, of all people, already know this. Those of us that choose happpiness are saving ourselves from unnecessary pain, grief and sorrow.
    You are an inspiration to many and through your postings bring joy to those with whom you share. I, personally, have been through many misfortunate happenings but choose to be on the positive side of situations thus keeping relatively good health and peace of mind through it all. Don't stop being who you are and please continue to share your thoughts even when you are down for it won't last when once you start writing. Blessing to you dear friend. You are truly loved as is your family.

  11. So many enjoy this site and get much comfort from it. For one person to "bash it" is a cry for help. The best revenge is to remain true to yourself and continue on. Blessings to you and your family. You really have been through a lot, and to choose happiness over what is a extremely difficult time. Shows your dedication, and your LOVE!
    Keep on Keeping on, We Love You!

  12. Cheryl,

    Like most of the post you have been getting, this guy is crazy and he is unhappy with his life so he chooses to attack others that are happy. But being happy is a choose and staying positive. You are awesome and you have been through so much and you stay strong for all of us. Thank you for your powerful words of encouragement and posting others powerful words as well.

  13. Sweet Cheryl,

    I found your site a couple of months ago. I Iook forward to reading your words daily. I've shared many of them. As a testimony to how genuinely happy you are, I had no idea you experienced all of the trials in your blog.

    The delete key and the block option are powerful. Seriously, if everything is a choice, why would we choose things that do not bring us joy?

    Thank you for being you. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Hi Cheryl,

    I am very new to your page. Thank you for sharing, almost revisiting your pain. As I read all the responses to the person that strummed the cord. What comes to mind is are we judging his judgement?!? If so, are we any different? Or did this individual open up an opportunity for you to revisit the past so you could be reminded of the "choice" we all have.

    Blessings come in disguises.

  15. You are right Cheryl – happiness is a CHOICE. We can choose to be scared, angry, and bitter or we can choose to learn and grow and bring good out of each situation. You GET IT. I did not knw your story , thanks for sharing it for those of us who are newer to your blog. God Bless.

  16. Hi Cheryl,
    Thank you for sharing .There will always be negative people who will doubt someone else's sincerity.I love the daily"positvies " you write .I see you have had a really difficult time and kept your head held high.A true inspiration for me and others.

  17. My Dearest Friend Cheryl, I am truly sorry.. Don't let an E-Mail from a creep get you down.. He has not a clue what he is talking about.. Probably stole someone else's words:( I have learned so much from YOU and SSRC.. You are my mentor, and even more so now that I know your story.. Life seems to bring people together that have similar stories.. I have found so much Inspiration, Love, Kindness, Compassion, Hope and Happiness since finding YOU and I know for a fact that I am not alone in that statement.. I LOVE YOU and Thank You from the bottom of my Heart.. He is NOT worth one more moment of your time.. Good Bye to bad rubbish…

  18. Cheryl, Thank you for sharing. At first, I thought your blog was going to be just all the rest. But, each day, I started reading and reading, and it really has given me a lift. I'm going threw some really rough times, myself and at times, I wanna pull the covers up over my head and shut out the world. But, I know, I've got to keep going. I'm a single woman of 58 yrs. old, have been out of work for the past three months. I keep on plugging on getting another job. I thank you and Jack for all the inspiration you give so many, myself included. Thank you Cheryl…much love to you both…

  19. Cheryl . . . I'm stunned. Of all people, why would someone come after you? How dare whoever this was to do such a thing, it's very unsettling. HUGGS to Jack–didn't know about his illnesses–and all that the two of you have been through! But when the bottom fell out, you didn't go off anywhere with an AK-47, killing people. You accepted it, you took it in stride, you moved on. You REBUILT. Too bad this person didn't post on the FB SSRC page, we would have eaten him alive! You're a brave and loving friend. And you can use me as a reference any time!! Barb

  20. Thank you so much for sharing your story… Im glad I found your website – your writing is about truth that most people prefer to hide it and pretend that everyday is a jolly day – it is not so for many people perhaps millions of people – you keep it real, you wrire about your experiences and that we have a choice to chose between being miserable or happy! I personally chose to be happy – that is why I am glad I found your website on FB – I chose to be happy – it includes to have happy thoughts and there is a tomorrow to think about to make it better than today! Thank you!

  21. (((((Cheryl)))), Unfortunately there are those who devote their time to trying to make others unhappy or doubt themselves. You know who you are and so do we. Don't let emails like this get you down. Use the delete and button and block, then forget!

    Love you dearly,
    Cynder ;o)

  22. I feel sorry for the person who felt compelled to say those negative things to you, because no one could do more harm to him than he is doing to himself. He reminds me of the saying that acid corrodes its own vessel from the inside. He is obviously very unhappy and wants to bring others down with him, but I also see it as a cry for help. He may not realize it but he is looking to understand why you are so positive no matter what you have faced and he is trying to gain something that resembles it for himself, but he is so unfamiliar with it he does not know how. He was trying to get a reaction that would prove to him that there are no good people in the world, but you proved him wrong. I don't think eating someone like that alive would do any good because that would bring us down to his level; instead I like to believe that he has found a little hope for himself or he would not "like" your profile.

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