Terminal uniqueness, also referred to as personal exceptionalism, is the false belief that your experiences with substance abuse are unlike those of other anyone else. Essentially people with a history of addiction often want to think that they are somehow different – unique – from other people with addiction and substance abuse problems. Terminal uniqueness may lead you to believe that other addicts are unable to relate to you or even that you are better than them. The history of the term terminally unique comes from AA and is often referenced in meetings.
While addiction is a different experience for everyone, and every individual is unique, addicts tend to have more things in common than not. Unfortunately, those who are terminally unique may not be willing to accept this fact. Instead of recognizing how similar they are, these individuals focus on the differences and often exaggerate them in their heads. This type of thinking can be damaging to their personal relationships as well as dangerous for their sobriety.
Signs of Terminal Uniqueness
Defining terminal uniqueness may be easy, but recognizing the signs of personal exceptionalism in someone you care about or especially in yourself is more challenging. We all want to believe that we are unique, but it can be difficult to determine when this way of thinking has become toxic and detrimental.
Signs of terminal uniqueness in recovery include:
• Comparing yourself to others
• Feeling like no one can relate to you
• Trying to prove that other people are different from you Post too long. Click here to view the full text.