Actress and mum Selma Blair has revealed how her life has changed since she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018.
"There is a truth with neurogedenerative brain disease. It is uncomfortable," Blair, 46, began a lengthy Instagram post Monday. "It is a stadium of uncontrollable anxiety at times. Going out, being sociable holds a heavy price. My brain is on fire. I am freezing. We feel alone with it even though the loving support has been a godsend and appreciated."
Mum to seven-year-old Arthur, the Cruel Intentions and Legally Blonde star continued, "People write me asking how I do it. I do my best. But I choke with the pain of what I have lost and what I dare hope for. and how challenging it is to walk around."
And yet, she wrote, "my smiles are genuine. This is ok. Life is an adventure with many shards of awakening. I can't sleep at night but daytime I have trouble staying awake.
"I am a grown woman holding onto a bear that belonged to a sister type of mine... I have a full week ahead with mothering and appointments and things to look forward to. But like many of us, I am praying. Soaking in love where I can. It's not easy. That's ok."
In October last year, Blair revealed that after years of symptoms her doctor had found lesions on her MRI. "I was never taken seriously until I fell down in front of him trying to sort out what I thought was a pinched nerve. I have probably had this incurable disease for 15 years at least. And I am relieved to at least know," she said at the time.
"I want to play with my son again. I want to walk down the street and ride my horse. I have MS and I am ok. But if you see me, dropping crap all over the street, feel free to help me pick it up."
Since going public with her diagnosis, Blair has opened up about aspects of her day-to-day life as a mum living with MS, including her heartbreak around no longer being able to cartwheel with her son.
"I have been grieving recently," she posted to Instagram in November. "For the things I took for granted. A cartwheel for my son being one. I was the most gymnastic mum I knew. A cartwheel was just as easy as taking a breath. But when I began to turn one yesterday on an impulse to show my son who had forgotten, it went all wrong. A jumble of confusion for this body I knew so well. A heap. A heap on the ground. And I tried to laugh. As did my son. But it was a turning point. Part of the grim realisation."
"Life of the party," she captioned another recent photo of herself.
"Having MS with a 7 year old & 19 month old can be so draining, coffee is our savour," one mum commented.
"You know parenting and having to show up, even when your MS has other plans, is the energy force that will keep you going (with coffee of course). We can't do everything so we choose the most important first. Bless your beautiful family," said another.
Blair isn't the first celebrity to share the challenges of life as a mother with MS. Actress and mother-of-two Jamie Lynne Siegler has also opened up about MS and motherhood, including how it impacted her ability to breastfeed.
"All my fellow mummies that deal with MS or anything that causes them to have to make choices they didn't necessarily want to.. this is for you. I'm having to stop breastfeeding soon so I can get back on meds," she wrote last year after welcoming her second son, Jack.
"The truth is, the toll of two kids and a newborn lifestyle is not the easiest on me ... and I need some help. What sucks is that I live with a disease that makes decisions for me a lot , and with breastfeeding I took SUCH pride that I was able to do something really awesome with this body that I am constantly at war with."
According to MS Australia, the condition affects over 25,600 in Australia and more than two million worldwide. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20-40 and roughly three times as many women have MS as men.
- with MTC