I was on the pill for over 15 years before I got married - for dysmenorreah, and it really did work. Because I was always on it, I never knew anything different. i stopped because we wanted to be pregnant, and we got our wish pretty quick.
After my first DD, it took 18 months before cycle returned, but I was also not interested in sex, so we weren't worried
Eventually, I was persuaded by the gyn to take birth control, so i tried it, but I kept forgetting it, and that was more stressful than anything - and then I started getting moody. Was it the drugs? I don't know. I ultimately decided not to take it anymore. I'm hyper-sensitive/allergic to condoms, so that isn't an option for me.
We just decided to learn about my ovulation cycle, which I guess is similar to charting. I'm not dedicated enough to do more than that! I borrowed an ovulation prediction test (clear blue or something), when we wanted to be pregnant again, and I learned that I ovulate on day 5-9. (prior to that, we just only had sex between day 14 & period)
So, after 2nd DD, I really didn't want to take pills, so I kept track of my days on the calendar. For 4 years, it worked just fine! There were one or two questionable months, when we played russian roulette with the calendar, but we have sex rather infrequently, so waiting a few days was never a problem. The months before we got pregnant this time, I was more amorous than normal. I wanted to BE pregnant, but I was afraid to GET pregnant, until we were sure it would not be a mistake. Things were going really well - we were happy about some stuff in our lives, so we celebrated a bit more, too - you CAN NOT count days reliably when you are drunk
We DTD on day 6 and day 9 oops. But we're happy about it. Giddy, in fact!
so, I think that if you're dedicated to figuring out your cycle AND if you're regular, I think you can do a pretty good job of natural birth control and stop worrying so much. There are good books and I think even some threads here on MDC that can give you lots of advice.
**NOTE** you just updated and said you're not regular, so here's one more thought. Get an ovulation tester, and use it. It takes a month to get it adjusted to your body, but I think that it would be helpful for you. A year isn't TOOOOO long.