The Site and Creator
What kinds of problems can I talk about here?
Pretty much anything. Some examples are:
- Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, EDNOS or COE
- Doubts or confusion about sexuality
- Depression or bipolar disorder
- Abusive relationships
- Self harm or suicidal thoughts
- The death of a loved one or parents divorcing
- Bad relationships or break ups
- Toxic friends or bullying
- Drug or substance abuse, alcoholism, addiction
- School or work stress
- Low self esteem
The mantra here is if it upsets you, it's a problem- no matter how petty it may seem. We don't 'rank' problems or think "Well someone else is worse off, so they're just whiny".
If your issue is "I'm getting divorced after two decades" or "I'm breaking up with my boyfriend after two days"- if it's affecting you, you deserve somebody to listen to you.
Where did the site name come from?
I have always loved the song X Amount Of Words by Blue October. I don't know why, I just adore it. This led me to also love the phrase 'x amount of-'. X is an algabraeic term, and it could mean anything. X Amount is literally, to me, any amount. And the idea of x amount of care- having however much you need- seemed like a good thing to me.
Why did you make this site?
I was trying to find a prison pen-pal, but for various reasons it wasn't doable. I started thinking that I want to support people through email/writing. I looked around for sites, but I couldn't see any quite like what I wanted to bring people.
Can I suggest this site to a friend?
Yes yes yes yes yes definitely yes!
How do I contact the site if I have a problem or an improvement to suggest?
Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if there's anything you need clarification on, or want to say.
You can't cure mental disorders through a site...
I know that. I really do. I don't think that just by talking about it, everybody's problems will disappear. However, I do believe that having somebody who can relate and who you can be honest with can be an incredible support and help you to feel less alone. You may feel that no one cares about your problems or be too afraid to even tell people about them- talking about them with someone not in your day to day life can help you to cope with hard times.
It is worth pointing out this site is not a replacement for real life help, such as therapists, medication or supportive family members.
Is there an age limit?
I would prefer it if no under 13s used this site. This is due to the nature of themes discussed here.
What should my username be?
Pretty much anything you want, but you might want to try and avoid usernames with lots of numbers and symbols. Try not to use a blatantly pro ana name like "ThinIsBeautiful" or something similar.
Do I need to be in recovery to sign up here?
This is a tough question, but one that needs answering. A simple answer is no- you do not need to be working actively to stop self harm, or breaking up with an abusive partner in order to use this site. You may hear me talk about pro ana- these are sites that promote anorexia as a good thing. This is not what we are. If you are currently eating disordered, you may not use our services to find an 'ana buddy'. Anorexia, bulimia and similar illnesses are not lifestyle choices, and to use a support site to discuss fasting, diets and weight loss is NOT why this is here. This site doesn't force recovery but it does promote it- you wish to join with no desire to change your ways, I suggest taking a moment to reevaluate why you're clicking "Sign Up".
What about member pictures?
Your member picture is one of the ways people will recognise you. Preferably, this should be a photo of you- but obviously, if you aren't comfortable with this, you definitely don't have to upload one. You can have no photo, a cartoon, a picture you like, a pet... as per the rest of the site, no emaciated photos or self harm pictures. If you know you are emaciated or have self harm marks, that's okay- just think about how the picture is taken. If you're smiling, in a normal pose, fully dressed, that's cool! If it's some obscure camera phone photo designed purely to show off your ribcage or cuts, please reconsider.
Finding a friend
So how do I find someone to talk to?
There are two ways!
The first one is the forums. We have a forum entitled "The Main Event"- this is where you meet the lovely people of this site. Simply make a post introducing yourself- maybe saying your name, a bit about your hobbies/likes and the kind of thing you're experiencing. Then people can either comment or message you privately- maybe just introducing themselves. There are also certain themed threads- eg threads about eating disorders, depression, self harm... you can comment on these saying you would like someone to talk to about the issue.
Feel free to comment on as many people's threads as you want- just be careful not to overstretch yourself. It's okay to only be in regular contact with one person.
The second way is through your profile. If you have a similar thing as your introduction post on your profile, people can contact you at any time saying that they'd like to get to know you better.
Don't feel bad if you tell someone you'd rather not discuss your issues with them right now- this site is about making choices that help YOU.
That all sounds so confusing...
I know. It's a lot easier in practice. To simplify- make a profile with some stuff about you on it, and/or post on the forums introducing yourself, either in a new or existing thread. If you see someone anywhere that seems like your kind of person, go ahead and private message them!
What do I do if somebody is rude or abusive to me?
I want to make clear that this is unacceptable. If anybody makes you feel uncomfortable or upset, please contact the site (email@example.com) and let us know. You won't be in trouble and we won't tell the person you are talking to that 'you told'- but we will get in contact with them. We will also tell you how to 'block' people on Hotmail or PM if you need to know.
What if I feel unable to support someone anymore?
This is a tough one. There is a line at which 'needing support' becomes 'completely negative'. I have known people who are like black holes- sucking help in with no sign of accepting it, giving back or even saying "Thank you". Besides, sometimes things happen in your life and you're unable to offer the level of contact you had before. If this happens, let them know how you feel- and if that doesn't work, let us know. You do NOT have to feel obliged to talk to anyone here.
So once I meet a buddy, what do I do?
PM them saying a bit about yourself- if they want to get to know you too, you can contact them in three ways.
1) PM. Continue using the site's personal messaging function as your method of contact.
2) Email. Exchange email addresses and talk through that method. You can also use Skype, MSN or other similar things online.
3) Writing letters. This one is tough. If you really, really trust someone, you may exchange your address with them. This site will not be held accountable for anything that may happen through this.
What are the forums there for?
General discussions. You might not always want a one to one chat- you might want to talk to a group of people. You can either talk about light things like TV shows, books and music, or deeper issues that you want multiple people's inputs on.
What are the forum rules?
Similar to the profile rules. Please refrain from posting BMIS, caloric intakes, or graphic descriptions of self harm. No nudity or underwear
Can I use text speak or smilies?
I like smilies. They are so smiley! So yes, :) and the like are allowed. Whilst correct grammar and punctuation aren't always necessary, please try and make it readable? That means whilst you might not have to be writing like you're sitting an English exam, FNGS laik DIS rnt not eezy 2 read so i wud appreeshate et if u used nrmal speling.
Who/what are the mods?
Mods, or moderators to give them their full name, do exactly what the name implies- moderate the board. They have the power to lock (make it so that no one can post in them), delete, move or rename threads. We currently have two moderators. Whilst they are not superhuman and you should treat them like any other member, if they tell you to do something you should respect that.
Can they ban people?
As far as I am aware, only I can do that.
Can they see my password?
Nobody but you knows your password. I don't know it, the mods don't- only you.
Do you accept new mods?
Right now, the site does not need any new moderators. However, if people are eager to take on the job, they are free to message my account (Jeska) or email the site directly and ask. If you're a kind, fair, regular poster, I will definitely consider making you a moderator.
What kind of thing should I put in my profile?
Your name- first, full or even just initials, it's up you. Then everything else is pretty much up to you! A brief description of the kind of problems you're facing would be nice- for example, "I struggle with self harm and suicidal tendencies as a result of my depression". This way, people know whether they can relate to you or not without having to read pages and pages.
What kind of thing can't I put in my profile?
Please don't have sexual content or nudity. This is not a dating site, please don't use it as such. Please don't mention weights, caloric intakes, self harm methods or anything else that could be triggering- aka, make a member feel worse and potentially harm themselves. If your profile contains BMI or food intake numbers, you will be contacted and asked to take this down.
Can I swear?
I personally believe swearing is an amazing outlet, and one I have no issue with people using. If you want to use curse words in your profile, go for it! Just be careful when contacting others- some people view bad language as something they would rather avoid. Be respectful.
Can I write to people dealing with things I haven't experienced?
Of course! There is no rule about this- however, please keep in mind that unless you have gone through a similar thing, it can be hard to fully understand.