- 6 years ago
- Wedding: September 2012
Hello Fellow Brides-to-Be!
I recently found out that my Maid of Honor and close friend of over 15 years has been silently suffering from clinical depression and an addiction to pills. Since my engagement last summer she had been distant, seemingly overwhelmed and irritated by my wedding e-mails, called my planning spreadsheet “crazy,” and seemed generally uninterested in all things wedding-related; so much so that I confronted her about her negativity and her lack of support and how hurtful it was that my own maid of honor was annoyed by my impending nuptials.
She apologized, we cried, and I thought we worked it out. Then, a few weeks ago she confided in me that she has been fighting a drug addiction since about 2 months before I became engaged. Therefore, all this time while I was assuming she didn’t care about me, she was struggling with a deep depression and dark addiction. She confessed that she couldn’t come to see my try on dresses because she was high. I was hurt that she basically lied by omission and didn’t feel she could come to one of her closest friends with something so big; that she let me prattle on about “It’s MY day, why can’t you be happy for me.” She said she isolated herself, etc. etc. I love this person so much and if anything happened to her I would be devastated, clearly.
Fast forward a few weeks, she is off the pills, going to AA/NA and working on her issues. Some days she is great, so excited to plan the bachelorette party, answering questions about dresses, etc. Some days she is calling in a panic, afraid she might be having a nervous breakdown and ready to check herself into an inpatient program.
I know that revoking her Maid/Matron of Honor title could possibly devastate her or at the very least upset her and possibly make things worse. Knowing that depression and addiction are very serious diseases, I don’t want to add my wedding (or not being a part of my wedding) to the list of things for her to worry about.
Should I offer her the option of stepping down from her duties, with the caveat that I want her to be in the wedding if only in appearances? I read in another post that it may come as a relief to her to have this come off of her plate. I am not going to take away her “title” or punish her in any way. I also have not yet told the other bridesmaids about it, because I don’t want to alarm them or embarrass her in any way. However, I also don’t want the other bridesmaids to be resentful that they are doing all the work while she gets to have the title of Maid/Matron of Honor without actually contributing, but not know why. Should I tell them or let her tell them? I know she is not going to magically get better in the nick of time for bridal shower planning, that’s for sure!
I was also thinking of having my mother be an honorary “Matron of Honor” and let her take over the duties, but still allow my Maid/Matron of Honor to stand next to me on the day of. My mother is already micromanaging the shower plans, so it won’t be a huge surprise. However, not sure if this would draw attention to the fact that Something is Up.
There are so many worries running through my mind: concern for my friend’s recovery, hurt over her lack of ability to be there for me, worries about how the other bridesmaids will deal with her lack of participation without being able to tell them the truth, worries that she will fall apart at the last minute and jeopardize the wedding in some way (which is selfish considering, but still – I have enough wedding nightmares as it is!). At the very least this is sucking the enjoyment out of planning my wedding and I’m unable to share the joy I’m experiencing with one of my best friends. I also know that this is just the beginning of a very long road to wellness and my wedding is just a speedbump along her path to recovery.
All she wants to do is be happy for me and is adding guilt over not being there for me to all the reasons she currently hates herself. I have been suppportive and basically let her off the hook completely and told her to stop apologizing, but it still hurts me and is causing me a huge amount of stress.
There are a lot of things going on here – what’s the best way to handle some or all of them?