Selma Blair is opening up about living with an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis.
Days before celebrating her return to the red carpet at the Vanity Fair Oscar party, Blair sat down for an interview with “Good Morning America” to publicly discuss her MS diagnosis.
“I am doing very well,” the 46-year-old “Legally Blonde” star told GMA host Robin Roberts. “I am very happy to see you. Being able to just put out what being in the middle of an aggressive form of Multiple sclerosis is like. So my speech, I have spasmodic dysphonia right now. … It is interesting to be here to say this is what my particular case looks like right now.”
Blair revealed the diagnosis came after years of seeking help from numerous doctors, who couldn’t find the cause of her symptoms.
“I had tears,” Blair said of the moment she learned she had MS. “They weren’t tears of panic, they were tears of knowing that I now had to give in to a body that had loss of control and there was some relief in that.”
The actress said her symptoms had been occurring for years, going back to the birth of her son Arthur, now 7.
“I was in an MS flare-up and didn’t know and I was giving it everything to seem normal,” she said. “I was self medicating when he was with me. I was drinking and I was in pain – I wasn’t always drinking but there were times when I couldn’t take it and I was really struggling with how am I going to get by in life.”
Blair said despite seeking help, she was “never taken seriously by doctors” who blamed her symptoms on her busy life as a single mom.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 26, 2019
“I dropped my son off at school a mile away and before I got home I’d have to pull over and take a nap,” she recalled. “I was ashamed and I was doing the best I can. I was a great mother but it was killing me. And so when I got the diagnosis, I cried with relief.”
Prior to receiving her diagnosis, Blair reached out to actor Michael J. Fox, who has been open about living with Parkinson’s disease for nearly 30 years.
“I said, ‘I don’t know who to tell, I’m dropping things, I’m doing strange things,” Blair said. “He got in touch with me… He gives me hope.”
When it came time to tell her son about her diagnosis, Blair said relaying the news “wasn’t difficult at all.”
There are moments that define us. This is one of those indelibly watermarked in my heart. This is #troynankin ; my former publicist turned manager , best friend , and fake husband. We joke. I have become a different woman in the last few years, through struggles and the intense pride of motherhood. @vanityfair has always been a champion of mine, like Troy. And yet, I have not fully realized my capabilities as an actress. I wanted to be at this red carpet to remember my first time attending with a not yet famous friend, @jakegyllenhaal . I believed in him and his career and wanted him there. And this dinner always symbolizes so much. And I kept going because it was always a night in hollywood that was full of hollywood dreams with all the talent present in their glory. I loved to watch. I was invited this year. I am featured in March issue . Thank you @radhikajones @kristasmith @samiranasr #juliemiller @cassblackbird . So this was a streak of light. To say I am here. I am still in an exacerbation so there was some nervousness. I don’t do anything the way I was once able. I will though. I can regain much. Mommas gotta work. And I will be able to do so much more on my own, But this man. Until that comes …This man and a host of others light the way and hold the moon @thetexastroya was a hero. Wanting me to shine brightly in a time that can be so challenging. He knew I wanted to be able to stand proudly as the woman I have become and hope to be. To be a part of something so special when my body won’t move clearly yet. And then I felt the love from the photographers who have watched me goof around on red carpets since I was in my twenties. I felt the warmth of the bulbs. The strength of my gown. His attentive touch. And still I hoped my brain could send signals for the remainder of my time there. And I sobbed. And I appreciated every single second. Every surprising tear, he was there. As he has always been. And that is the reason I could. Thank you Troy. We got me just where I wanted to be. For a night. And I later pushed my way into a family photo with @dianaross (omg) . So much to post but not before this one. True love. Right here. Forever.
A post shared by Selma Blair (@selmablair) on Feb 25, 2019 at 10:12am PST
“I always want him to feel safe and never responsible for me,” she explained. “He had already seen that I was falling and doing things and I was always laughing.”
Blair said although her son was initially afraid, he has learned that sometimes she needs to take a day off and rest.
“You can’t do it all, it’s fine to feel really crappy,” she said. “My son gets it and now I’ve learned to not feel guilty at all.”
Moving forward, doctors have told Blair that she can potentially regain 90 per cent of her abilities.
“I was a little scared of talking,” she admitted. “Even my neurologist said, ‘No this will bring a lot of awareness because no one has a lot of energy to talk when they’re in a flare up.’ But I do,” she said, before adding jokingly, “Because I love a camera.”