DEAR TKB | “What do you do when someone you love loses control?” I was extremely hesitant to publish this post. But my hesitation just confirmed that I had to do it.

Let’s start light, on this lovely Wednesday evening.  With a fact…

Whenever Honey says “You know what’s funny?” I go “YA FACE.”  It’s a knee-jerk reaction but I think I’m gonna stop doing that.

You know why?  Because when I’m sick like right now he goes and he does this:

He ordered me Chinese food from work today. :)

Even though I’m sick as f**k, it takes the edge off to be loved like this.  Kudos to all the fiances and fiancees and wifeys and hubbies and mommies and daddies and friends and neighbors and incredibly skilled dogs and cats who love in this way.  It makes all the difference in the world to the people on the receiving end of your kindness.

Ok one quick thing: if you have half of a second, I would be so grateful if you’d vote for The Knotty Bride in Question 1 of this WedBiz Awards Nominations and then go to the bottom to submit (“Done” I think it says?).  It would make my world.  I kinda put my everything into this blogaby (blog baby) every day because I love sharing and interacting with you all.  I’m living my dream, thanks to you guys.  It would be The Coolest to win this.  Ok I’m done begging :)  Sorries.

We’re gonna get started now with today’s Question from a Reader.  I want to preface this reader’s question by telling you that I hesitated to put this one up on the blog.  I dunno I just wasn’t sure how to handle it.  I think it’s because it touches on very real, very serious issues some or actually a lot of people face IRL when they’re dealing with tough life circumstances, and I guess I felt unsure if I should just straight copy + paste the question onto this blog post like I always do, or work to edit it in such a way that it wouldn’t be so honest and real-life-ish sounding.  Weird, of me, right?  I don’t really know why exactly all of this happened in my brain.  Why I got so squeamish about it.  Especially since I’m usually pretty direct as a blogger when it comes to talking about intense stuff and keeping it real about life on the blog.

WHATEVER, survey says I decided to keep it mothereffing rizzeal today.  And so away we go.

Dear TKB:

Howdy! I’m a loving reader o’ your blog, and I need help. HELP!!!!! I’m in a bit of a panic.  

My honey and I got engaged a while back. Happy, happy, yay! I then proceeded to ask my ladies to be my bridesmaids, like ya do. Everything had been going swimmingly until one of my maids and her boyfriend of three years broke up, and she lost her damn mind. Seriously. Completely sack of hammers. Here’s the rundown: She’s been drunk every day since (I’m not being figurative; it starts around 3 pm when she wakes up and ends around 5 or 6 am), been doing hard drugs with increasing regularity, and sleeping with every guy ever. I know that she’s just reacting extremely badly to something that hurt her. It’s been five months of this, though, and I don’t see a light at the end of this whiskey tunnel anytime soon. My selfish side of this whole mess is that I am terrified she’s going to do something crazy at my wedding. I’ve wanted to tell her that if she can’t shape up, she’s not invited thus not a bridesmaid (she was ecstatic about being in the wedding), but I’m scared that may make her go even further off the rails. I don’t know what to do, and it’s getting closer to dress ordering time. Help, help, helpitty, help, please!!!  

On another note, I LOVE your blog!!! Thanks for being rad, lady!


Dear L,

First, thank you, I appreciate your kind words and I’m so glad you enjoy. :)  Now, about your situation.

HOLY SHIT.  Your friend seems to be doing everything short of Gadhafi-ing herself in the rear in order to feel something other than what is clearly the intense pain of losing her beloved.  I feel bad for her; that is one incredibly hard road especially after three years, even when you have the faculties/support system to help you through it… clearly she has neither.  She is suffering, and making life far worse by not dealing with the pain she’s working so hard to cover up with excessive drug and alcohol use.

Because your friend is in a downward spiral, my impulse when I first read your question was to say that this is no time to get mad at her, because your first priority should be your friend and helping her find a path to recovery.  But I knew that couldn’t be my best advice, so I had to stir this one around in my head for a few days.  FYI this really all depends on how close you are with your friend.  If you are close, and you worry, like you said, that she’ll go off the deep end if you boot her, then here’s what you might want to do:

If she’s abusing drugs/alcohol with the regularity you indicated, then calling her is a bad idea.  You can’t time a call properly with a drug addict, and you won’t get anywhere good if she’s hallucinating while talking about this.  So what I want you to consider is writing her a letter or an email.  I’m going to write this as if I’m you, L…….

“Dear my drug-abusing-friend: (← don’t say that)

I picked you as one of my bridesmaids because you mean a lot to me, and I’ve been excited about having you by my side on my wedding day.  I’ve always imagined you in my wedding, and I’ve truly wanted you there.  But now I don’t know what to do.  I see your behavior, and how unpredictable it is of late – I see you doing things that are very self-destructive - and I’ve been worrying for a long time now that my wedding might exacerbate the behavior you’re displaying now.  Which is to get faced all the live long day.  And while I hate seeing you do this to yourself, I’m smart enough to know I can’t stop you.

As much as I worry for you, I am also very concerned about what you’ll do as a member of my wedding party.  I’m scared that what I’m hoping will be a very calm, pleasant and joyous day for me and my man, is instead potentially going to unravel into something bad.  I worry constantly about what you’ll do.

I do know that my wedding shouldn’t mean anything at all to you right now, with regard to what’s going on in your life; I get that, and I don’t expect it to.  But, if it can serve as a deadline for you to get clean — if, for no other reason than for your own good… you could pull it all together and get sober by the time my wedding roles around, then I would love to have you there with me.  But if you can’t assure me that you’re going to be stone cold sober at my wedding, and call no negative attention to yourself in any way, then I feel that you should understand why you shouldn’t come to the wedding.”

Something along those lines up there, L.  Because I hope you understand that you and your future husband are the highlight of your wedding.  If anyone else by their actions detracts from you being the focus of that wedding, you have every right and absolutely should do whatever you can to prevent that from happening.

Let me tell you this, too, L.  If I was drinking that hard, here’s what I would tell you if you were my close friend – I’d tell you that I don’t trust myself not to act a fool, and since I don’t want to be a douche and ruin things, I should probably not be your bridesmaid.  Seriously.

It’s clear to me you care about your friend.  I can tell that because like I mentioned a little bit ago, you said you’re worried that if you remove her from the bridal party she might spiral even more out of control.  But I really want to make sure you don’t feel selfish about this.  She needs to be reached out to in this serious of a manner, so she can finally figure out, “OMG.  THIS, is how bad I am?  It’s letter-worthy?  I need to get my s**t together.”  And L, this is the one day of your life where you’re expected to be selfish.  Many people have that one drunk uncle, or that one slutty friend who sluts it up and tries to be the center of attention.  But just because those characters exist, that doesn’t mean you have to let them eff up your wedding day, AMIRITE?!  You don’t HAVE to invite ANYONE.  I don’t care what anyone says.  I mean, jeez, wittingly inviting a person who creates scenes regularly at gatherings would be pretty much the worst call on your part.

Ok, I’m turning it over to you guys now.  I’d love to see what your thoughts are, or any advice you might have for Miss L.  Even if it’s a quick comment.  Whatever it is, I really appreciate your weighing in, because the more people weighing in, the better.

xoxo  - Alison

P.S. – mmhmm, that’s right, I totally styled that shot of the Chinese food.  I cannot not style pictures anymore.  It feels like a disease.

Heather Scharf Photography is a member of Vendor Love.  Explore more of her work here, in our guide.

Label(s): "DEAR TKB..." Advice Column

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  1. Jenna on December 14, 2011

    If you asked her to be your bridesmaid then I’m assuming she’s someone who means a lot to you. If she means a lot to you, you should first be concerned about her welfare. I don’t mean to be harsh, I just know from firsthand experience how much wedding takes over our brains (got married in September) and it’s hard to come back to every day thinking normally.
    I think you should sit her down (in person like Alison said), but don’t make it about the wedding. Make it about your concern for her. 5 months is far too long to be abusing herself like this and hard drugs is a huge cause for concern.

    Remember that you love her and intervene because of that, not because you’re worried about the wedding.

  2. Danielle Fletcher on December 14, 2011

    Ditto Jenna. She needs help to get clean and bringing up your Wedding will sound incredibly selfish to someone who is in that much pain. I wouldn’t even talk about it unless she ends up getting sober. I would do what I could do to help her and when it came to the Wedding day, I’d have a couple of no-nonsense bouncers who refuse to let anyone in that is under the influence.

  3. Ms. Adams on December 14, 2011

    I definitely agree with Jenna. If your friend was just being selfish and irrational, you could just kick her out. But since she’s acting out in such a radical way, she really is looking for your help and more importantly your love. I would first approach it as a conversation focused on your concern for her and her life without mention of your wedding. If she doesn’t get the severity of her problem at that point I would uninvite her from the wedding. Since this is such a serious life problem, I think you need to remove the wedding aspect from it when you first confront her.

  4. chandra ~ Oh Lovely Day on December 14, 2011

    You’re a lucky girl- that is a super sweet honey you have! Also, I voted for you two days ago :)

    As for the reader question, I think your advice was perfect.

  5. Mia on December 14, 2011

    As someone who unfortunately has extensive experience in dealing with self-destructing people, I can tell you that a letter and a telephone call are not going to cut it. Calls can be hung up on and letters can be thrown away (or burned, as I’ve seen in several occasions….which is another sad story altogether).

    Face to face is the way to go. The tv show “intervention” is face to face for a reason….addicts and drug abusers (or drinkers, or what have you) cannot ignore you.

    And I bet it’s hard for her to be happy for you when she is self destructing….it may be difficult to make this about your wedding instead of about her. Tread lightly and do it with love for her, not concern for how it’s going to affect your wedding.

    Good luck <3 I feel your pain quite acutely.

  6. Mindy on December 14, 2011

    I gotta say I agree with the commenters above. My bestie exhibits this same kind of self destructive behavior. Sounds like this is bigger than your wedding, and she needs real help. Like, maybe a 72 hour hospital hold followed by rehab.

  7. Nikki on December 14, 2011

    Alison – I voted for you AND wrote you in under “other” for the twitter/fb question ;) you are my blog crush

    L – I recently had to do the exact same thing with a bridesmaid of mine. She recently went through a break up and had the same destructive patterns. I wrote her a letter and the outcome was positive. Of course it was hard for her to read and it took some time for us to work through it but in the end I know it was the right thing to do. A true friend is one that will tell you the truth, no matter how painful it is to say or hear.

  8. bridal girl on December 15, 2011

    I believe that your advice was good.

  9. Carly on December 15, 2011

    Sorry, but this is not about your wedding any more. This is about one of your best friends, slowly destroying herself, needing your help. If the tables were turned, what would you want her to do for you? I would assume stand by you and help you get the help you needed. Not kick you out of the wedding.

  10. gigi on December 15, 2011

    If you watch “Intervention” or “Celebrity Rehab” you can see that success, even though attempted by professionals is not routinely achieved. To think that Miss L can help fix her friend, is a nice romantic notion. But, as an untrained non-professional, probably not going to happen. I think your advice is realistic and all that Miss L should expect of herself.

  11. Ashley on December 15, 2011

    Hey Alison, Love you, sorry you’re sick, and I voted for you!! EEeee!!!!
    I only wanted to make one comment, though, about the reader letter. I’m assuming L is not family of drunk girl but if she is indeed that good of a friend then we need to stand back from how this affects the wedding and talk about potential rehab/other form of help. As a friend, I hate the word intervention, but, INTERVENE! for the sake of the person as your Friend. Bridesmaid should not even be a question of a title right now. She needs to get clean for her life, not for a wedding. If she gets clean by the wedding, great, but the priority should be clean and sober, period. I would normally agree with a letter if the friend was being a jerk but in this case, I think L needs to talk to family and close friends and figure out what’s being done to get her FRIEND some much-needed help.

  12. C on December 15, 2011


    I definitely feel for you during this chaotic and joyous time. I agree with what Alison and the other commenters have said with how to deal with the situation. Alison’s letter is perfect in how to write the letter to her. Best of luck.

  13. Jessica on December 15, 2011

    Just wanted to say I just found this blog and I loovve it!

    As for the topic above I definately agree with the other comments and having been through something similar. if your friend is close with her parents or brother, sister, another friend it helps to talk to said person with one of those people.

    My bestie was not doing well and I talked to her mom which not only helped to support me, and make me feel less alone but also helped to show her I was not the only one out there concerned.

    Definitely make it about helping her and then bring up wedding concerns after.

    Good luck!

  14. Lena on December 15, 2011

    1. Best honey ever award would obviously go to Honey.

    2. Voted, and then added you as a write in all over the damn place. You are my favorite wedding celebrity making an appearance at the Royal Weddings this year. Here’s hoping they don’t discount my vote.

    3. Boy is this tough. At the risk of overreacting, it sounds like an intervention is in order. Her messing up your wedding would be terrible for you and embarrassing for her–obviously we want to avoid that–but it seems like the potential problems here are far bigger than that. First things first is to try to get her some help, but don’t feel guilty if ultimately she can’t make it on your big day. And lots of love, L, because what you’re dealing with is obviously not easy.

  15. Elle on December 16, 2011

    Have you allowed her to talk to you about what is going on in her life right now?

    I know that during my wedding planning, my world seemed to revolve around all of the details I was trying to pull together. I know that I wasn’t as available to friends and family as I normally am…

    Before you stage an intervention, maybe just schedule a lunch where you sit down and talk to her about what’s going on in her life. Explain to her that you are worried about the choices she has been making and that you want to help her.

    It doesn’t seem like you have any instances where she has been outwardly disrespectful to you or that she has acted rude at an event you have both been at. Despite not agreeing with her personal choices, I don’t think that is a reason to remove her from your wedding party. Right now, especially, she needs to feel love and empathy from her friends – not more rejection.

    I do think that your first conversation should revolve around her and how she’s feeling – I wouldn’t bring up the wedding and your worries of her behavior. It makes it seem like your sentiment is from a purely selfish place and not one of concern for your friend.

    I would carry on as if she was going to be in the wedding party and that she was going to behave. If, closer to the wedding, you witness behavior that leads you to believe she will make a spectacle I would bring it up – otherwise I feel like you might be worrying needlessly. Worst case scenario a couple months from now you decide to remove her from the wedding party and you have a wonderful dress to donate to some girl who can’t afford a nice dress for prom…

    That’s my 10 cents.


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