Working Step 1 Questions

We admitted we were powerless over Alienation – that our lives had become unmanageable.

Each of us is free to create our own solutions using the experience, strength, and hope of those who have gone before us. The following questions for self-study or group study may help you with Step One. As you work on each Step, remember to appreciate yourself for the effort. Call a friend or Sponsor and share your success, too.

  1. Do I accept that I cannot control another person’s alienation? Another person’s behavior?
  2. How do I recognize that the alienator is an individual with habits, characteristics and ways of reacting to daily happenings that are different from mine?
  3. Do I accept that alienation is a disease? How does that change how I deal with an alienator?
  4. How have I tried to change others in my life? What were the consequences?
  5. What means have I used to get what I want and need? What might work better to get my needs met?
  6. How do I feel when the alienator refuses to be and do what I want? How do I respond?
  7. What would happen if I stopped trying to change the alienator or anyone else?
  8. How can I let go of others’ problems instead of trying to solve them?
  9. Am I looking for a quick fix to my problems? Is there one?
  10. In what situations do I feel excessive responsibility for other people
  11. In what situations do I feel shame or embarrassment for someone else’s behavior?
  12. What brought me into PA-A? What did I hope to gain at that time? How have my expectations
  13. Who has expressed concern about my behavior? My health? My children? Give examples.
  14. How do I know when my life is unmanageable?
  15. How have I sought approval and affirmation from others?
  16. Do I say “yes” when I want to say “no”? What happens to my ability to manage my life when I do this?
  17. Do I take care of others easily, but find it difficult to care for myself?
  18. How do I feel when life is going smoothly? Do I continually anticipate problems? Do I feel more alive in the midst of a crisis?
  19. How well do I take care of myself?
  20. How do I feel when I am alone?
  21. What is the difference between pity and love?
  22. Am I attracted to alienators and other people who seem to need me to fix them? How have I tried to fix them?
  23. Do I trust my own feelings? Do I know what they are?

Step 1 Questions



  1. Great question!

    The purpose of a 12 step group is to work on our emotional and spiritual development and recovery. For almost everyone this starts with their family or origin and generations before along their family lines. We then move to our family, our kids and our alienator (usually the other parent or family members.

    Step 1 is about powerlessness over every person in our lives. We can’t control folks.
    It is also about how unmanageable our life is as we try to exert control over people.

    The questions are guides to look at our behavior.
    #1 is asking my if I can except that I can’t control another persons alienating behavior. For me this is my ex, my alienator.I know for a fact I can’t control or fix her. I had to admit this after trying every strategy imaginable.
    #22 Is asking me if i’m attracted to people that I need to fix and or save. I am.This is partly why I picked my ex partner, because it was familiar.

    hope this is useful

  2. Michelle

    It is the person who has alienated our loved one from us

  3. Pamela Garrison

    I need to talk about my sons, 30 and 35 who alienated me and said I’m toxic and other awful things. They live far. I see both of them a few times a year, text weekly and talk if I call, two word sentences. They found out my ex is a sex addict. They weren’t close to him until a few years ago. I don’t know what to do. This happened two weeks ago. They both said they need space from me.

    • Please come try some meetings. I think you will get a need met for community and shared reality. Please read about what a 12 step meeting is on the wed site.

      I have added you to weekly email list.

      hope to see you at a meeting.

  4. Jane

    Are these all zoom meetings? Are there any live meetings in Phila/Cherry Hill area?

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