Terminal Uniqueness Expressed in Superiority & Degradation

Terminal Uniqueness is expressed when someone attempts to attend a 12-step meeting, but believes it's not for them. As shared yesterday, when the 12-steps are taken seriously, they work and can be life changing. When someone attends one 12-step meeting and believes it's "not for me", Terminal Uniqueness could be playing a part. Here are 2 ways that Terminal Uniqueness can be expressed:


When you or someone you love attends a 12-step meeting, the focus quickly shifts from being there to learn to comparing yourself to the others in the room. You find yourself saying things such as, "I have nothing in common with these people.  They are nothing like me.  I've never been arrested. I've never been fired from a job. I've never lost my marriage. I've never lost my home. I've never........."

This type of addictive thinking creates a sense of superiority where you believe you're not as bad off, or you're  in a better position since you've not yet experienced what the others in the meeting are discussing.



Since others in the 12-step meeting you're attending have lost their jobs or been arrested or have been homeless (and you haven't), you begin to wonder what help they can be to you? How can people like this actually understand your problems?

This type of addictive thinking keeps you in denial that 1) your situation is truly unique, and 2) that others can't help you if they haven't experienced exactly what you're going through. The truth is that you/your loved one can relate to each person in that 12-step meeting if you/they remove the denial and decide to be there to get healthy and stop comparing themselves.

Terminal Uniqueness can be dangerous and tomorrow we'll discuss why. Thank you for reading and please check back in tomorrow for more information on this serious subject!


*Source: DARA-alcoholrehab.com John Lee “AA and Terminal Uniqueness- Are You As Unique As You Think You Are?”


Written by: Tamara Wilhelm MA, LMHC, LCAC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling  at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.