A case of eternal uniqueness?!

When I first came to an AA meeting, I heard people share their stories and had quite mixed feelings about it all. My head was clouded, I wasn't in any condition to fully take much in as I was withdrawing from the effects of alcohol addiction. Experiencing extreme levels of anxiety, lack of sleep, bad dreams etc, I ended up with my butt firmly planted on a chair just listening to people drone on about their drinking history. I remember 2 things that was distinctly stated which stuck in my head 1) keep coming back and 2) look for the similarities not the differences. There were alot of drunkalogs with people seemingly competing for the best, or rather worst drinking stories! Personally, some of the stuff I just couldnt relate to like drinking bottles of metho etc which made me question if I should really be there! After a few meetings someone drummed it in to my brain to listen to the similarities and hang on to those! Later on a woman with 10 years up, who later became my first sponsor told me that I suffered from eternal uniqueness! Apparently most alcoholics suffer from this condition and we really are just a garden variety alcoholic! So now I look back on that and wonder if that was the very start of dealing with my questioning things in AA?! I think what kept me coming back was the need for a sense of belonging! I knew I could no longer drink, or hang out with people who did, so I had no stuffing elsewhere to go or nothing else to do at the time! So yeah, I stuck around and identified with the similarities and even had a number of laughs! The comradery in the beginning was kind of special, especially when I was coaxed into doing 90 meetings in 90 days! Then all of that changed almost within a few months of getting a sponsor! And I was constantly told I suffered from eternal uniqueness and the only cure was the 12 steps! I had way too many questions!

Comments

J.'s picture

I identify completely with your summary and especially the reason you stuck around as long as you did. Human beings are social creatures naturally so eventually even the extreme loner needs a breath of social air. I'll be the first to admit, though, it's a poor substitute even if my intentions were fixated on bettering myself by working on my alcohol addiction. I had the same problems in AA. I had (what they called) "terminal uniqueness" which is nothing more than a way for people in AA to write off your concerns or opinions because they likely challenge their own dogma. I myself was told by old-timers that I would KILL newcomers with my opinions and doubts and that I should keep them to myself. It's typical anti-intellectualism and fundamentalism. At the same time I was being told this, I saw people that had accumulated six to nine months of sobriety who believed everything these same old-timers were saying, praising the program, giving rave reviews of the step process go right back out almost suddenly and unexpectedly. When that happens, well, they are written off as hidden failures and lacking a strong connection to God. It's sickening. I still occasionally sit in on a meeting. Partially because I still do need a place that reminds me where I was, but not how I stay sober. AA has nothing to do with that. I also still speak my mind. I tell the same old-timers what I believe; that AA is outdated, a fallacy, and potentially dangerous. I suppose there will be a day I'll give up and realize there is no use in trying to change minds that are so warped into this fundamental belief that only a "spiritual" cure can release a person from alcoholism, but the anger I have towards these people far outweighs anything that would want me to resign from speaking my mind.
tobyt's picture

"terminal uniqueness" around here...

AA/NA promotes drug and alcohol abuse and at the same time it is a temperance movement. It will deni both of those claims. It just suffers terminal uniqueness, I do not know about you, but I am hoping that it expires from it's condition.
fedup's picture

Oops it probably was terminal uniqueness lol
fedup's picture

Well yes thats exactly what I found. I think the steppers themselves suffer from terminal uniqueness! Being that if your with their program etc that you are "one of the lucky ones"!
fedup's picture

Yes I guess I just wasnt born a typical sheep lol. Oh well, I guess im not terminally fucked up now that I have left either lol
catwalksintoabar's picture

Fedup, I forget them too, and I'm so glad for it. :) Also please, what is your avatar's caption? I can't read it.

unique people in my life! That why I like OPF! Seriously though that is how they get you. Guilt and shame all the way.
SimonTemplar's picture

no 2 grains of sand on the beaches are the SAME no 2 snowflakes are the SAME every personis unique there has neer been anyonelike you and there will neer again be anyone exactly like you each person ahs something they do bettre than others each is UNIQUE BUT we are all SHEEP either we follow Heaven or we follow this world/we are all follow somethinfrom some books or from someone who seems to ahve an idea where he/she is going UNFORUNATELY the leaders think since behind are pushing them the one sinb back know where it's all going and the followers think the leaders must know where we're all going KNOWLEDGE is lost and BELEIFS take control over our lives when KNOWLEDGE become more important then BELEIFS then sheep get to follow geniune leader I've acdepted it's bettre to be a sheep following a Real SAINT and accpet being led tahn oer and oer falling into some ditch because the one I listened to had jack-shiite genuine KNOWLEDGE. SO NIT'S BEEN ABOUT 42 YEARS FOLLOWING PREM RAWAT and practising KNOWING SELF/INNER LIGHT /ENERGY and eltting go of OPINIONS AND ASSHOLES seems this world is filled with rugus/not gurus but rugu's not from darkness into light but from light into darkness. find reality and hold on .seems diffficult but choose rreality then life changes and si bono si bellissima. Money is god/society is god/professors ahve it all=LOST LIGHTHOUSE IN MTNS GREY POLLUTED MTNS.

I SPY

fedup's picture

The caption says "this is how my friend dresses his dog when he goes out " :-) Yes its amazing how I have forgotten alot of AA terminology! I guess its not used on a daily basis these days lol.
d0gmatic's picture

Terminally unique. You're too smart for your own good. Your best thinking got you here. Don't think yourself out of here. You're just another bozo on the bus. You can't outsmart your disease. A man doesn't know what he knows until he knows what he doesn't know. Take my advice - I'm not using it. Don't intellectualize - utilize. There are so many dumbass slogans AA uses to keep people subservient, powerless and dependent. More cult tactics.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ~ Nietzsche

criticoolthinking's picture

a strong need for affiliation is a sign of weak individualization.

-------
i embrace a multi-pathic view of disease and behavior science. neither is the only way for everyone, people are unique, some get diseases, some don't. some needs are beyond will power. some are not. group think kills individuals! critty cat.

fedup's picture

Yes its just another slogan to keep you powerless! Everyone is basically unique like Simon here says! Im on the outside now looking in and its quite a different view I gotta say lol. Some of the stuff is so predictable that you can honestly know what their line of thinking is from the standpoint of AA indoctrination! I have to wonder if they realise how they sound? At times its almost entertaining having a casual chat with a stepper! The ones I still chat too are obviously on a crusade to get me back in to their organisation coz they think im in denial, or im a dry drunk, fear that my disease is doing push ups etc lol. Im not angry with them any longer, im way past that now. It just amuses me with the way they talk and wow, I actually talked like that myself for a couple of years too! I can see why it could be considered a cult lol

crack you up fedup? My sister is so happy I am no longer in a cult and sometimes we talk about times an AA friend and I had spent time with her. She'll tell me what we said and it's so embarrassing! Stepper talk, crazy cult speak! So obvious to me now. LOL Congratulations on forgetting a slogan!