TDS Forum Guidelines

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Jan 20, 1999

Forum Guidelines

The Dark Side - A compassionate corner of Bluelight for people struggling with any of the difficult elements of life.


Welcome to The Dark Side (TDS)! The Dark Side is the Bluelight forum which covers themes which have a negative effect on one's life in some way. This includes issues that arise due to drug addiction or abuse, psychological stress, self-harm, eating disorders and many other serious life obstacles. Many here have moved past their own darker moments, but have remained a part of this community and desire to be of assistance to others still in challenging times. TDS is here for people recovering from drug use, wanting to recover, for people with mental illness or just in a dark place in their life, to seek assistance, guidance and support from a group of peers. It is also a place to offer such to others. We encourage sharing your experiences with sensitivity to others issues, as well as offering help and guidance for those caught up in struggle(s). A great first contribution to the forum is to tell us who you are.

TDS Staff

Please do not hesitate to contact any of TDS staff with questions, concerns or suggestions about the forum. We are here to help you. If your question/suggestion is either about the forum's guidelines or the way something is handled in TDS, it is best to PM a moderator. If you have a specific problem with a given moderator, either PM that moderator or contact a senior moderator.


Nurse Ratched
Jerry Atrick

Senior Moderators

@Senior Moderator
@Nurse Ratched

Forum Rules

Given the sensitive nature of this forum, it's inevitable that several rules must be enforced.


Forum guidelines are in addition to the Bluelight User Agreement (BLUA) that is enforced across Bluelight.

Many TDS members are working to reduce drug or alcohol use or obtain abstinence from them, as a result posts or pictures that glamorize use are not appropriate in this forum. Bluelight has other forums in which to discuss the recreational use of drugs. While specific mention of drug use is, of course, at times required to discuss reduction of use or abstinence, the social threads do not permit drug talk. Therefore, please refrain discussion of any recreational drug, legal or illegal, in the social threads.

TDS also has members with self-injury problems. In this area especially, anything likely to trigger self-injuring behavior is not permitted -- in particular images and videos, but text-posts can be triggering at times as well. TDS is also here for people who may have mental or physical health problems, drug induced or other wise. We are not trained counselors nor are we doctors--we are simply a non-judgmental community of peers that both pose questions and offer answers drawn on our own experiences, types of therapy, or medications etc.

The Dark Side is focused on the negative aspects of drug use and sharing strategies to get through such struggles. We recognize that drug abuse and addiction usually are rooted in deeper life issues. These issues are really the heart of TDS.

TDSers love to have fun just as much any anybody, for sure! But let's keep our conversations to fun things which are constructive for reaching better and brighter days. When telling one's story in TDS, one-upmanship and competition is to be avoided. Someone's tolerance or level of consumption could be a part of that person's story, but a thread where everyone is out to tell the best tale of over indulgence or top other people's problems can become unhelpful and contrary to harm reduction and recovery.

In Specific:

  • Treat others with respect; i.e. no "flaming," "trolling" or posting of "memes."
  • Do not use SWIM; be honest about the subjects within your stories.
  • "Tough Love" is appropriate at times, but keep in mind the mental state of the individual in need and use appropriate discretion.
  • Do not post images of cuts, burns, wounds and the like - self-inflicted or not.
  • Do not post pictures of drugs or alcohol.
  • Nudity will not be tolerated.
  • Do not post pictures of yourself "high as a kite" in the Photo Thread. There are other areas for such comments, for example 'The Ecstasy Discussion Social Thread.'
  • Try not to glorify drug use in the present tense, particularly in the social threads. There are other areas of BL to post within if you are enjoying an intoxication and/or a high and wish to talk openly about it (such as Drug Culture's 'How High Are you?' thread).
  • Do not place "triggering" material, even behind NSFW tags. If it's questionable enough to feel the need to do so, don't post it at all. NSFW tags can be used on large images or in jokery in social threads, but please make note of why the tag is being used external to it.
  • If a post is edited by a Moderator, do not edit the post. You can PM the Moderator or any other TDS Staff member to discuss the edit or removal of a post if you are not clear on why.
  • Posts glorifying, insinuating, or threatening acts of violence whether past, present, or future will not be tolerated.
  • Refrain from giving dangerous advice or recommendations ie., "quit your meds cold turkey" or "quit seeing your psychiatrist/therapist/etc." Remember, no one here is a medical or mental health provider and thus cannot be expected to provide professional support should someone follow dangerous advice.
  • Refrain from posting anything that may be triggering to others.
  • Recommending methods of suicide will not be tolerated.

Safety Disclaimer

Even though some TDS members are in professional positions in real life, TDS is a non-professional support effort. We don't diagnose or prescribe here. It is better to give our ideas about the nature of other people's problems or the tactics they may use to get better as suggestions rather than as declarations.

TDS is not a 'crisis line' per se, and if you or a friend are in immediate danger there are Links and Phone Numbers provided for immediate help, as well as regional contact-info for detox centers and other drug or mental health-related resources. It is recognized that some sorts of situations do create a need to tell people to take common sense, reasonable actions like getting to a hospital or doctor in the midst of an overdose and/or suicide attempt.

Abusive Posts

Many TDS threads require more tactfulness than ordinary posting situations. Posts that are intended to shame, humiliate, or provoke are not acceptable here. If a member is a continuous irritant to another member, but is not attacking anyone nor breaking any rules, then the best remedy is to put the member you have problems with on your ignore list via UserCP. If someone is creating a hostile environment, breaking BLUA or forum guidelines, then it is far better to use the Report link (locted in the bottom left hand corner of each post) rather than to respond to them in the thread. The report function calls the situation to the attention of the entire TDS staff.

It's often tempting to reply to such posts, but more often than not pointless, particularly when the user in question is a recognized "troll." So please report, and leave us with as little mess to clean up as possible.

Off-Topic Posts

This forum is a community, and therefore off-topic chatter is practically necessary as both a form of relief and also a method of relating to each other as a group open to new members, regardless of their issues. However, there are certain rules regarding off-topic discussion that must be addressed. Please keep posts that are not relative to the issues discussed by the original poster of a thread to one of the off-topic threads. All off-topic discussion that is not considered to be conducive to either solving the problem, relieving one of a burden, or generally supporting the original poster will be moved. The social threads are much looser with respect to chatter. So if you feel the need to inject your own thoughts/opinions beyond what is useful to respond to the OP, why not start your own thread, or place it within a social thread (see below) instead?

Useful Links

Here are some links to threads within the forum and its Archive (current versions given):

Themed Threads - Help/Treatment

Triggering Post Guidelines For Social Threads - Please Read

Themed Threads - Social/Lighthearted

Information Threads

*Note that even though a lot of threads have been created for specific issues, this does not mean that users cannot form their own threads if they feel more comfortable doing so. In the end, it comes down to personal preference as to whether one wants to join in on a large thread, or create one's own arena.

In Conclusion

The Dark Side contains a staff eager to help and many regular participants who offer great contribution. TDS really is a hallmark of how useful Bluelight can be, and we encourage people to not be afraid to open up within it. To an extent, we all can understand the struggles that others go through, and in the end we're all here to help each other improve our lives. We have a sense of humor too, by the way, so please join in the social threads for random discussion as well. This really is a great community.

The current TDS staff would like to thank past staff member Enki for his role in developing these Guidelines and to all past moderators that have contributed their time to keeping them up to date.

Thank you to CFC for his assistance with the most recent update to these guidelines.
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