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Setting Boundaries When Supporting a Recovering Addict

Group Therapy: Supporting an Old Friend After Rehab and Betrayal

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

A friend of mine recently completed a rehab program and contacted me to make amends. As you might imagine, our friendship went from close, to strained, to non-existent for reasons both directly and indirectly related to her addiction. There was a straw/camel’s back situation a few years ago, which led to me completely cutting her off.

Despite that, I’m still the only friend she has left. I really want her to lead a happy and sober life. I do care about her and we have lots of good memories together from the years we were friends. But peppered throughout those years were all sorts of betrayals, drama, and negativity. My life since I cut her out has been drastically better; the people around me are people I trust and drama is rare. I guess I just don’t know where she fits into my life anymore.

I should add that when we spoke, it seemed like she was really committed to staying sober and not engaging in the other destructive behaviors that caused our friendship breakup. But you can imagine why I would be hesitant to believe that after years of lies.

I guess my question is: Is it an obligation of mine to be one of her main support systems since she doesn't have other friends? Can I be supportive of her new life without really letting her back into mine? Can people really change, not just get clean, but actually change how they interact with and treat people during rehab? Also, I’d just be interested in hearing from anyone who has gone through rehab themselves or had a friend or loved one transition to a sober life.

Have a dilemma of your own? Post it anonymously to Group Therapy for advice, and check out what else is happening in the TrèsSugar Community.

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