You have been told your whole life that there is only one of you and you are one of kind. This philosophy probably has kept you feeling special and individualistic which is important and true. There is no one like you. If you are an addict, there are other addicts, however, that are more like you than maybe you would like to admit.
Every addict has a different story of how their addiction affected their life. Some have DUIs, have had their kids taken away, or lost a job with the details varying from addict to addict. Addicts generally have many of the same characteristics across the board. It is pretty standard that once they start using or drinking they cannot stop and they will pursue risky behaviors that they otherwise would not do if they were not under the influence. Addicts will also put their addictions above everything and everyone, which can land them into a rehab or a 12-Step program.
Once an addict shows up to rehab or a 12-Step meeting, they may hear what the others are sharing, but are unwilling to relate to what they are talking about. The addict may think that they are not like the others or that they are not an addict. They get so caught up in what makes them different, that they will not allow themselves to be part of the fellowship. There is a term for this called terminal uniqueness.
What makes terminal uniqueness so dangerous is that it mirrors some of the negative aspects of addiction. When addicts put their addiction before everything and everybody, generally it will make them isolate. Addicts that display terminal uniqueness continue their isolation when they keep their distance from a support group where they can form relationships that can benefit their sobriety. The addict is so wrapped up in being unique that it causes them to look at everybody differently to keep them from opening up to the group. Focusing on what separates them from the group is a form of self-centeredness that was also prevalent during their addiction. The addict is unable to see the similarities and focuses on the differences of the other people, that they fail to use the help that is provided for them.
What makes them unique can be the very thing that they can use to help somebody who may need to hear their perspective or can assist them with whatever they have to offer. This might take some time on the addict’s part, but being of service is one of the positive aspects of being in recovery. Learning to turn that terminal uniqueness around can show others what makes you shine.
If you know somebody that has a problem with drugs or alcohol, Serenity Oaks Wellness Center can give them the support they need. Our comprehensive program can show them how to create a promising new beginning. Call us today: 844-720-6847