Terminal Uniqueness is Not that Unique!
“I’m Not Like Those People”
The definition of Unique – being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else.
The definition of Terminal – you are going to die!
And when we are talking about the disease of addiction, this can be a very painful, sometimes very slow, always agonizing, death.
Most alcoholics and other kinds of addicts suffer from Terminal Uniqueness. It is actually not that unique at all! She is the twin sister of Denial. Terminal Uniqueness says, “I am very special”, “My case is different”, “I never did that”, “ I would never do this”, “I am not like those people”. If addicts aren’t cured of Terminal Uniqueness very quickly when attempting recovery, it can be lethal.
Newcomers and Terminal Uniqueness
Many newcomers to 12 Step meetings often look around at the people filling the chairs and wonder, “What am I doing here??? These people are losers! I am so much smarter, richer, better looking, and I’ve never been to jail, crashed a car or …” __________fill in the blank.
Old timers in AA understand, because they were there too. They just smile, and tell the newcomer to look for similarities, not differences. If a person is looking for differences, they will always find them. But once the newcomer starts to look for similarities, Terminal Uniqueness begins to disappear. What is the same for almost all alcoholics and other addicts is the feelings associated with the disease.
Typical Story of Terminal Uniqueness
A typical story of addiction begins with a person feeling inadequate in some way, different than, lonely, awkward. Then comes the drink or drug that changes that difficult feeling into one of euphoria, confidence, self-assurance and finally feeling right with the world. People suddenly feel that they belong and fit in. Then life and addiction happens. That feeling of euphoria is transformed into panic, shame, guilt, remorse. Behaviors are incongruent with moral convictions, there are lies, transgressions, covering up, hiding, pretending, sickness, and eventually despair, anguish and the jumping off place.
We All Share the Same Feelings
Nobody walks into a 12 Step room or drug rehab without recognizing these feelings, and to one degree or another experiencing them. This is addiction. Life circumstances may be very very different. Addiction moves from Park Avenue to the Park Bench and everywhere else in-between. Grade school dropouts and Ph.D. Professors may sit side by each in a meeting. Education, bank accounts or family status, mean nothing when you are dying of alcoholism.
Recovery is a funny thing, there is no logic to it. How do the 12 Steps work? The 12 Steps work just fine. Look for the similarities and don’t compare. Terminal Uniqueness is finally cured when the alcoholic surrenders to the notion that they are no different, and that their problem, and more importantly, their solution, is the same as everyone else in recovery. Here is a definition of surrender that you might like – moving to the winning side.
The irony is, that everyone feels that they are unique and different. And, you know what? They are special. Just like every other person sitting in a chair at the 12 step meeting, or filling a bed at drug rehab.
Online Meetings to Remove Terminal Uniqueness
Especially during the difficult period of social isolation and distancing due to Covid-19, go online and join countless others, just like you, all over the world! Zoom 12 step meetings abound! You are truly no longer alone. Google ‘AA online zoom meetings’ and find a plethora of meetings such as here and here.
These are some of the tools and lessons that you can learn at an excellent 12 Step based drug rehab like Serenity Vista. When able to travel, private pay drug rehab in Panama means that the government, your medical records, and your employers don’t need to be involved in your business. Holistic with excellent Caribbean foods, exotic fruits and a fabulous Chocolate Labrador Retriever Dog make Serenity Vista an addiction facility that is special! Just like you. And everyone else.