Happy Endings: Tell us about something you’ve tried to quit. Did you go cold turkey, or for gradual change? Did it stick?
Any time that I have tried to give up anything it is always cold turkey. I am fairly sure this is based in the fact that I am just that stubborn. If someone, particularly a doctor tells me that I need to reduce medication slowly then I just stop it cold. That is of course if I decided I needed the medication in the first place. Did I mention that I am rather stubborn?
On an aside, the term cold turkey strikes me as an odd one. Why is quitting something associated with the temperature of turkey? I looked it up and found these tidbits to chew over:
What with turkeys being a symbol of a famous American holiday, if you assumed that this phrase has its origins in the good old USA, you are correct.
It might surprise you, though, to learn that “cold turkey” actually started off meaning “plain speaking,” a meaning that is still around today, though much less prominently- with this definition usually in the form of “talking turkey” today.
The phrase “cold turkey” first appeared in print in 1914 in the Des Moines Daily News.
As for the “abruptly stopping a bad habit” definition, one of the earliest references of this can be found in 1921 in a Canadian newspaper, The Daily Colonist.
Apparently, according to this source eating turkey cold is the plainest way and that linked in with plain speaking. It strikes me as interesting how the turkey is featured in American culture and in the diverse manners. There is more information if you follow the source link.
Back on topic. I am quite determined when I decide to diet or cease a habit like drinking cocoa cola. I follow it through without a single falter. However, the moment my mind strays or I stop for some reason I can just go back to the old habit (unless its medication, of course). This is the long and tragic history of my dieting, exercising and food diatribes.
Temptation is an interesting word. It is tempting to say that the ability to cease a habit is dependent on the strength of your will to do so. But it can also be the quality of the support that you put in place, a change from the habitual practices that used to accompany it and/or removing the temptation. For myself, if the object of my craving is absent from my house I don’t partake, however if it is within it won’t reside that way for very long.
Control has always been important to me, mainly because of my past experiences. That could be why I never developed the habits of smoking, drinking or illicit drugs. I just hate losing control and that has led to my bad habits being confined to food and exercise. However they are no less lethal than some of the others as obesity brings with it a cluster of poor health issues. These habits were adopted in the same rationale as the ones that issues of control steered me away from.
I am aware that the medication I am on now and at their dose strengths would create serious issues if I stop them cold turkey. Last year when I did I had a few days of complete misery and I am not prepared to repeat it anytime soon. When I was younger my stubbornness got me through some potentially sticky places with medication but age brings caution or at the very least a metabolism that is less under the control of my mind and more under the control of the processes of aging.