Friend in Recovery & How To Move Out

by Jason

At the end of 2009 I met a wonderful young lady. From the onset I sensed there might be some issues with her, but there was something about her that attracted me.

A few months after meeting her, she tried to end her life. I was deeply saddened and couldn’t understand why. What I didn’t know was that this was attempt number three.

As time went by, it came to light that she had a drug and alcohol problem as well. This stemmed from doctors prescribing her a terrible cocktail of pills. To add to this dilemma, she had previously sought help for an eating disorder.

Having had a parent that had gone through alcohol rehab, I felt that I could help her. As a close friend, I periodically visited her and tried to cheer her up.

When she finally came out, she went on the same way and I decided to walk away, but it tore me up. After a few days I went back to her. She confessed how she felt about me, which was awesome, and we continued to see each other, but periodically she’d still act strange. She began seeking help and the doctors advised her to go back to the hospital and they wanted to perform shock treatment.

When she finally came out, I was supposed to go with her to a wedding in New Orleans with her parents, but at the last minute I backed off. A few days later, her father called to inform me that she was OK and that she had just come out of surgery. He called me, because I was the first person she asked for when she woke up.

From the hospital, she reported directly to a drug rehab facility, where she stayed for 90 days. During this time we spoke maybe 3 times and I visited her once. Because she was a nurse, once she completed the program, the board required her to report to a 6 month halfway house and be monitored for the next 5 years. In addition to this, if she found a job back in health care, she would have a narcotic restriction for the next 6 months.

Now it’s natural to say that we put our relationship on hold. Then earlier this year, she completed halfway house and due to money issues, she entered another house for women who just aren’t ready to live alone. All along, she would visit me before going to her weekly meetings.

During her absence I went out on dates, but decided to wait for her and told all the girls my intention. Then in April/May we got to talking and decided that it could be a good thing
to move in together.

One of my female friends actually gave her an opportunity to become an assistant manager. I’m glad to report that she is doing an awesome job .
In July I met a realtor (I worked at a branch), and we seemed to hit it off. This confused me, but I decided to be honest with her and to no surprise, she was shocked/saddened, but still remained my friend.

When the move in date came looming (end of August 2011) we decided that alcohol would not be allowed in our apartment. Then came the actual day, and my sister brought drinks to celebrate. This didn’t go down well and from this point on, our relationship has slowly gone south.

We tried working on our issues, but in the 4th week of September, it ended. She says, she can’t remember anything before her shock treatment and feels as if she doesn’t know me. Secondly, when she finishes work (which sometimes is late) she’ll go to AA meetings, which I applaud. I still miss her though.

I feel like I’ve lost my friend. We fight a lot and the silent treatment has become the norm. My Realtor friend wants to date me and has stood by me, but she’s not happy with my living situation.

I’m now 3 months into my lease and do not know what to do.

My roommate has indicated she can’t move out and that we should just work through the lease, but last night I broke down and said I was leaving. This didn’t go well, and now I feel like I’ve lost her forever.

She's paying for random drug testing as part of her monitoring to keep her RN license, and has to pay for weekly counseling. This is one reason her money is tight.

Before she left to work this morning we spoke briefly, and she asked me not to leave without some type of compensation.

How do I proceed to move out?


Your friend is trying very hard to work on her sobriety and keep her license. This is hard work and a relationship would be additional pressure.

That being said, you have been going out on dates, and your relationship with her has changed. Since you’d be the one breaking the original living arrangement, look for someone to sublet your half and take your place. Include her in the approval process of the new room-mate.

You’re relationship has changed, and there’s nothing wrong with that, however, whether she is in recovery or not, the right thing to do is to compensate her with your portion of the rent, if you move out before a new room-mate takes your place.


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