No one like us has ever existed before. There are similarities with others, and some of those may be more important than the differences — such as our identification with and understanding of other addicts. Nonetheless, the combination of elements, molecules, electrical charges, life experience and consciousness that combine to be “us” has never existed before and never will again.
Even identical twins begin to diverge from the instant the first group of cells divides into two individuals. The part that we consider “identical” is, in fact, only descriptive of superficialities. Inside, they are unique, irreplaceable like the rest of us. Furthermore, neither they nor we are the same from moment to moment. All of the factors mentioned above — and even the subatomic and quantum conditions that make up our “unique” selves — are changing so rapidly that they are impossible to measure with any meaning. We aren’t the same people from instant to instant, regardless of how precisely we measure the instants.
So it’s really pointless to compare ourselves to others. My siblings are unique. So were my parents and their ancestors. My relatives, friends and every other human being — living or dead — possess the same uniqueness in abilities, drive to succeed, interests and motivations that I have. I may admire others (or the reverse), but comparisons are ridiculous! I’m comparing myself to a standard that literally no longer exists.
I can’t be someone else, nor they me. I can only be myself. I decide what’s next. That’s not to say that I can’t learn from others, but I need to be sure I’m making my decisions based on what’s best for me. I need to build skills — like those of recovery — that make it possible for me to make decisions and move in directions that put me at peace with myself.
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