New Project

21 Jul

I started working on a post today about books (I love books) and I’m pretty excited to post it (I seriously love books). But I’ve been wanting to talk about a new project that I’m honored to be a part of.

In March of 2008 I answered an ad on Craigslist that was advertised as an online opportunity for social workers, counselors, human resources personnel, and a very long list of other kinds of professionals. The pay sounded much too good to be true and I was convinced it was a scam. But I submitted my resume anyway, just in case it was for real. Surprisingly I received a response from the business owner immediately and we set up a phone conference for that same week.

When I spoke with Cheryl Ring about her idea and her vision for it, I ended the conversation in tears. I was hoping fervently that she would hire me, in any capacity. I so badly wanted to be a part of this project.

*****

In the months and weeks after my brother died, I was usually fine during the day. I could stay busy enough to keep my mind distracted and, to be honest, there just isn’t time to cry when you’re working full time and have kids. But when night came, and Hubs was asleep, and I was left alone with my thoughts, things got…bad. I would lay there alone, sad, and lonely. I wished for someone to talk to that understood what I was going through. I know I could have woken Hubs up, or called a friend, but it’s hard to put other people in that position at 2 o’clock in the morning. And most of the time I didn’t have anything to say except I really missed my brother.

Looking back now, those were times that I shouldn’t have been alone. I should have reached out. I spent many of those dark nights thinking it would be easier to just not deal with the grief anymore. To just not deal with anything. I never tooks steps toward suicide, but I think it was only the grace of God and the love for my family that kept me from falling into a dark and dangerous place.

It could have turned out much differently.

***** 

Cheryl Ring is a private investigator. A long time ago, she had the tables turned on her and was the victim of a terrible crime. She fought to get the perpetrator caught and convicted. She was frustrated by the lack of support that was out there. So an idea was born. She wanted to create a space where people could go 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and find someone who understands what they’re going through.  Someone who can listen, provide support, and just be there.

She created chatergy.com. Chatergy is a website providing resources for almost anything you can think of: weight loss, guilt, parenting, job hunting, grief, and the list goes on. It is designed to have information available for everything, for anyone who needs it. The website also offers free forums for every topic and free workshops.

In addition to the resources and discussion tools available on the site, Cheryl and her co-workers have screened people who are qualified, either through employment, educational, or personal experience, to provide support regarding a variety of topics. Chatergists are available any time of day or night to chat, for a fee. The fee is  less than what an hour of counseling costs (if you’re not insured). But you can get help from the comfort of your home, in your pajamas, and you can talk whenever you need to.

I feel so strongly that this an important service to have available. All too often, our worst, most lonely moments do not fall within a counselor’s normal business hours.

I know it will help people.

I think it might save lives.

*****

I am the author of the official Chatergy blog and many other Chatergists are authoring blogs about a variety of topics. Registration for the site is free. The site was officially re-launched on Sunday and we are running a special offer right now – your first five minutes of chat with a Chatergist is free. If anyone is interested in becoming a Chatergist, or offering any other kind of support to the site, send me an email at kristinamarie.blog (at) gmail (dot) com.

I hope you’ll check it out.

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3 Responses to “New Project”

  1. Life of a Doctor's Wife July 21, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

    This is an incredible advertorial for the site. It sounds like a truly beneficial program that could help lots of people. I’m so glad you’re a part of it and I’m so glad you shared it with us.

  2. Angela Noelle July 22, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    That’s an amazing project. It must feel wonderful to be a part of something so worthwhile 🙂

  3. Heather (aka "H") July 25, 2011 at 9:20 am #

    I’m so proud of you, Kristina. So happy, too. This is awesome.

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