Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Three years, mostly smokefree

Back at day 1000 I was expecting to be on quit-line posting about my 3rd anniversary of quitting today. Unfortunately there's a couple of reasons why that won't be happening.

I've been struggling the last few months. Some know some details and some don't. Let's just say Julia's world is not all choirs of angels serenading the unicorns that trot across the rainbow bridge. There has been a period where I was having the odd cigarette as a crutch and there were days where there were several. I never got back into full-on smoking but it was a close run thing. I've smoked on two of the last 13 days and it's been 7 days since my last cigarette. I feel like I'm free of them now, but I felt that a few times earlier too.

I really don't feel much like celebrating three years. No I don't intend adjusting or resetting my quit date. 6 September 2014 is still the date I went from being an incorrigible 30 a day smoker to someone who is mostly smoke free. I have recently gone from someone who was 99% smoke free to 95% and am still working on my quit; but it's the same quit. In any case no other date really makes any sense to me.

The second reason is that even before the above struggles Quit-line had become toxic for me. I was turned off by some of the behaviour I witnessed there; behaviour I saw as intolerant and bullying. Sure there were many supportive people and voices of reason, but there was a large enough minority of the others to put me off.

For better or worse I haven't been going there much of late and very few of my cohort are still regulars. When I was starting out I saw names that were unknown to me as they were never there and only popped in to post what seemed incredibly large numbers of days. I vowed to myself that I wouldn't be one of them, if I ceased being a regular contributor and stopped recognising the regulars I'd quietly retire from posting to the site.

When I go there now I also feel professionally angry at the new software. No matter how many times I say "Remember me" it never does, I can't page through the blogs, I can't look at the blogs of the people I supported and they still haven't loaded in the old blogs.

I've spent 40 years developing computer software and I can't remember seeing an upgrade as incompetent as Quit-line's mess. It looks like it was thrown together in a hurry by a high school student for a mid-week homework assignment. Actually that's not fair, most of the student programmers I've known would have done a far better job.