11 times Selma Blair made us want to hug her during her fight with multiple sclerosis

Blair: How challenging it is to walk around, but my smiles are genuine

By Dawn Jorgenson - Graham Media Group
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Selma Blair attends the 26th Annual Race to Erase MS Gala. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)

In case you missed it, Selma Blair has been battling symptoms from multiple sclerosis for years, but was finally diagnosed in August 2018 when she visited a doctor for what she thought was a pinched nerve.

Blair, who is best known for roles in "Cruel Intentions," "Legally Blonde" and Hellboy," has been pretty open about her struggles and how the disease has affected everything in her life, including the incident she spoke about when she announced her disease to the world.


I was in this wardrobe fitting two days ago. And I am in the deepest gratitude. So profound, it is, I have decided to share. The brilliant costumer #Allisaswanson not only designs the pieces #harperglass will wear on this new #Netflix show , but she carefully gets my legs in my pants, pulls my tops over my head, buttons my coats and offers her shoulder to steady myself. I have #multiplesclerosis . I am in an exacerbation. By the grace of the lord, and will power and the understanding producers at Netflix , I have a job. A wonderful job. I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken gps. But we are doing it . And I laugh and I don't know exactly what I will do precisely but I will do my best. Since my diagnosis at ten thirty pm on The night of August 16, I have had love and support from my friends , especially @jaime_king @sarahmgellar @realfreddieprinze @tarasubkoff . My producers #noreenhalpern who assured me that everyone has something. #chrisregina #aaronmartin and every crew member... thank you. I am in the thick of it but I hope to give some hope to others. And even to myself. You can't get help unless you ask. It can be overwhelming in the beginning. You want to sleep. You always want to sleep. So I don't have answers. You see, I want to sleep. But I am a forthcoming person and I want my life to be full somehow. 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. It takes a whole day for me alone. Thank you and may we all know good days amongst the challenges. And the biggest thanks to @elizberkley who forced me to see her brother #drjasonberkley who gave me this diagnosis after finding lesions on that mri. I have had symptoms for years but 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. And share. ๐Ÿ–ค my instagram family... you know who you are.

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In case you're unfamiliar with MS, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society describes it as an immune-mediated disease in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks myelin in the central nervous system. Myelin is the protective coating around nerve fibers in the central nervous system. It is a primary target of the immune attack in MS, and it basically disrupts the flow of information between the brain and the body.

MS can affect people very differently, but symptoms include fatigue, difficulty walking, numbness or tingling, muscle stiffness, weakness, vision problems, dizziness, bladder problems, sexual problems, bowel problems, pain and itching, cognitive changes, depression and emotional changes.

Though less common, there are even more symptoms: speech problems, swallowing problems, tremors, seizures, breathing problems and hearing loss. Those aren't even mentioning secondary symptoms that can arise from those symptoms. 

Undiagnosed for seven years, Blair suffered many of the aforementioned symptoms, but the one many have noticed is the spasmodic dysphonia, which affects the voice muscles in the voice box, causing her voice to shake.

We've seen her life through her Instagram posts, in which we've seen her down and up, but despite the quiver in her voice, she's spoken loud and clear about how MS isn't going to control her happiness.


There is a truth with neurogedenerative brain disease. It is uncomfortable. 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 god send and appreciated. People write me asking how I do it. I do my best. But I choke with the pain of what I have lost (riding) and what I dare hope for. and how challenging it is to walk around . But 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. ( thank you @k.d.w.r ) we do what we can. 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. I send love to you. And by the way, this #eileenfisher sweater is my go to cozy tonight in this hotel room. Thank you. And @lorrigoddard_ I can't thank you enough for the morale boost of blonde. And to my love @mrchrismcmillan ๐Ÿ–ค #humancondition #strengthinvulnerablity #MS #stillanactress #always #willmakeitwork #heartwideopen โค๏ธ #thisisforallofus. #littlethings PS. Some outlets use quotes as clickbait of suffering. My life is not about suffering. These are moments of sharing in a way that some may find too much, but there is positivity in these posts. A face to a disease I could not get information about from people I saw succeeding. I am succeeding and love my life. It is doable to have some rough moments and express it. No?

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This happened. My magical unicorn, #mrnibbles , held my body while I broke open with gratitude. I haven't been able to ride for four months or more. I haven't been able to get to him, so my saint of a trainer, @kjrides brought him to me. It was a fairytale. My horse in my front yard, with more emotions than these words can hold. The gratitude. Thank you #cellardoorequestrian for knowing when I needed you the most. I will heal. I will ride. But until then I will hold onto this feeling and post pictures whenever we all need to believe people will move mountains and horses to help us heal. Thank you @lyon_hearted for arranging this. All my love โค๏ธ @cellardoorequestrian , my angels. #tearsofjoy ๐Ÿ˜ฅ #mystory

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We met! I cannot express the gratitude I have towards the kindness and hard work of #barbaraalinker ๐Ÿ’›. She is the woman behind the invention, design and build of this wonderful #walkingbike. I have been without my @the_alinker_world while taking care of things back home, seeing family and healing and thought I could manage with my cane. It became untenable and painful to my joints. So she found me. โค๏ธ she gave me this bike. And I took off. So many people have already stopped me to ask about it. Good thing I am a chatterbox and so happy with this #mobilityaid, I feel like a model at a car show. Gonna nap. And look forward to the days ahead with faster , smoother , increased mobility in a walking city. Thank you thank you @the_alinker_world #gamechanger #reactivateyourbrain #activateyourbrain #kindness #brilliance. #life ๐Ÿ™Œ #thealinker

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So. I spin the wheel again. the Rolodex of selfies. I stop on a pic a friend took of me trying to stop spasms by lying in warm water with a heavy towel with minerals in bath. Specific minerals. I recall posting this at the time and kind of being made fun of by some news outlets. My skin wasn't as tough yet. And I took the picture down. The thing is, the heavy towel helped. My body would go into a kind of palsy . I was embarrassed and tried to turn them into mouth clicks instead. But the energy had to go somewhere. The therapist recommended towels over me. It helped. She said it really helps her autistic patients. So I wanted to share. A warm bath with towels and a space heater in bathroom so water doesn't have to be so hot. We are in this together. I don't mind being ridiculed a bit anymore. We do what we need to do. #towelbath. #missoni. ๐Ÿ›€๐Ÿผ

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I have been away from California for two months. I will go home soon. I will sleep near my son that first night and thank the stars every waking minute that he IS. I am. You are. This is what we have. I am bowing down to all that have shown up for me. For my son. For my eventual recovery. For the curiosity to learn more on behalf of other people. The women that have stopped me saying sharing has meant something. Thank you. I carry your faces in my pocket to fumble for and look at when I feel down. I root for the people willing to change their lives for the better every day. It's brave. It's worth it. Trying. Doing. Energy breeds energy. And I have been given so much and I send as much as I can back to all of you in your bed or crying in your car or numb or angry as you might even read this. May the force be with you. Love. #newlife

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It is darkest before the dawn, I have always heard. And I keep it in mind. And I still get overwhelmed in the chaos of the dark. And I am so deeply moved at how many people called or wrote or left comments after my last post. The old me was ashamed. Ashamed to be so transparent with vulnerability or fear. And I wanted to delete the image. The heart bruised words. But you all changed that with your words of support. I was humbled. I couldn't even read til now. Thank you. Thank you.maybe I will print and put in a book for when I need it again. We should all do that sometimes. When I came home , I sobbed so loud in Arthur's dads arms. Only he could know what I am fighting for. Our son. And he gave Arthur a carefree, fishing filled boyish summer and my gratitude shook me. I failed as a mom a million times yesterday. And Arthur was fine. The world didn't stop. I was exhausted and just wanted to let us transition into each other's space and there was an empty fridge and a lagging AC and I don't know where anything is and it smells weird and he noticed my big belly but likes my bald head and I smell dog pee with my chemo senses and and and. Breathe. I cried. He laughed. He played a fishing video for me. We slept and woke and he took this. He is golden. Alive. Happy. Thank you universe. I will get there. Have patience. Thank you. All of us. Be gentle. With ourselves and others. It is a wonderful feeling. Thank you to everyone here and in my life who did that for me the last few days. I can do this now. ๐Ÿ–ค #walkingeachotherhome

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Sunday. Rest. Gratitude. I write this with helping someone else in mind... Since chemotherapy and high doses of prednisone I have lost any ability to focus with my eyes.(I find it difficult to be on phone so I am not on social media or communicating w friends through writing very much). Panic sets in. Will this be permanent? How do I get to one more doctor appointment? How will I work and write when I can't see and it's so painful? And then a simmering of knowing. Underneath all the doubt. It will be ok. Take it smaller to each moment. Let the body heal. Nourish. Walk slowly. Burst into laughter. Give my nervous system a chance. I see how wonderful and kind people can be. I see how frightening it can be. Uncertainty. I am choosing to say this too shall pass. And my word... it's so beautiful today. Still cool in the shade and the whole day before us... we can do it. Breathe . ๐Ÿ’› ps. My left leg is feeling the ground!!! #hsct Also... I have found much relief in settling my system with @montelbyselect #relax #hempextractcapsules . Thank you @montel_williams ๐Ÿงก

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There is currently no cure for MS, but researchers continue doing their best to find ways to combat symptoms. It's also unknown exactly what causes people to get MS.

"Thank you and may we all know good days amongst the challenges," Blair said.

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