I know, I know. But the truth will set you free, as they say.
I joined here in late 2007 after quitting on 23rd July of that year. Mainly through Neil Caseys book as in my sig, which basically changed my life, but a combination of factors also, such as this place, an exercise program and the other books in my sig too. I would recommend them all actually. And the members here from tomat, tkd_john, austinlegro, catmagpie, jude, nicfirth, dubbs and a long list of more great people this place was a real lifeline for a while.
So from that date to July 23rd just gone, I haven't smoked a cigarette at all. Or a roll up. But there have been some cigars along the way unfortunately. Starting after nearly two and a half years quit on 24th December 2009, I have occasionally smoked either a few or a lot of hamlet miniatures or cafe cremes. Holidays, birthdays, christmas, you know the drill. Eventually I turned into something I always wanted to be during my smoking years. A casual smoker. Who of us hadn't wanted to be like those friends or people we knew, who only smoked on nights out or special occasions? I had. And then it happened. And in some respects its a kind of worse torment than being a full-timer really. I can still remember that Xmas eve. The strange thing was I didnt worry. I was so comfortable in my quit, it didnt faze me one bit. They were a bit harsh at first, but I got used to it. I was never really one for counting time off nicotine, the only thing that mattered was that I didnt smoke anymore. So blowing my smoke free count of two 1/2 years didnt bother me, I wasn't in it for the world record quit length.
I had a few over Christmas and the New Year and that was it for the moment. But then 'occasions' happened every once in a while. And 2010 turned into my smokiest year since 2006. Irregular it may have been, but I was annoyed at myself by years end. I stopped on 30th December and didnt have any again until May of this year. Past couple of months have been the odd one here and there, and then I just happened to realise the date the other day. It just made me realise what I was doing again. Did I actually post a 3 years thread in here last year? If I did, it was a lie. I have operated on the basis that as I dont smoke regularly, and not cigarettes anymore, that my quit wasnt really compromised, but I see that as a fallacy now. I may seem like I'm going on a bit and maybe even trying to make myself feel better by explaining it all away, but I have to admit I was comfortable with it, at least at the beginning. But in the end, theres always a potential smoke on the horizon - when you do quit, you knows it gone. But with this kind of casual smoking, its always gnawing away that at some point you will again have a puff.
And when I think how many times I tried to quit and how brilliant and chuffed I felt when I did it eventually - makes you kind of upset at this situation. But onwards and upwards. I dont knock around the forums too much these days but felt I had to be truthful about it. I hope it doesnt put people off quitting that this kind of thing can happen. Those who may just come in here looking around as guests for inspiration. Dont be disheartened. We're always told about people starting again after X amount of years, as if its some reason not to try. But thats rubbish, it only really shows you that you can never be too careful. I wasn't obviously.
Congrats to all the year and multiple year quitters still here, and many more getting into this room all the time. This place will be a big help to people for a long while to come i'm sure.
[I realise this probably doesnt belong in 1 Year + but I had to post it where I thought it 'should' be, even if I'm not anymore. Crap.]