Selma Blair has announced that she has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The actress, who is currently playing a journalist on Netflix’s upcoming science fiction drama Another Life, broke the news in an Instagram post thanking costume designer Allisa Swanson for the extra help she needed. Blair wrote that Swanson “carefully gets my legs in my pants, pulls my tops over my head, buttons my coats and offers her shoulder to steady myself” before explaining that she has multiple sclerosis and is currently in an exacerbation.
Blair says she was diagnosed as a result of an intervention from fellow actress Elizabeth Berkley, who insisted she see her brother, neurologist Jason Berkley. Berkley diagnosed her on Aug. 16, after she literally collapsed in front of him. Blair wrote that she has “had symptoms for years but was never taken seriously,” estimating that she has had MS for “at least 15 years.” (Blair was in the news a year ago when she shared her stories of being harassed by James Toback in the late nineties, so this is unfortunately not her first experience with not being taken seriously.) Here’s her Instagram post announcing her diagnosis:
Netflix has been supportive and accommodating, Blair wrote, personally thanking her producers and crew members for helping her navigate her new reality. She also thanked her friends Jaime King, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr., Tara Subokoff, and Noah D. Newman. Blair was frank about her hopes and fears about multiple sclerosis in the hopes that her story would bring hope to others and encourage them to seek help:
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.
But despite the realities of multiple sclerosis, Blair remains a model of cautious optimism in the face of uncertainty. “I laugh and I don’t know exactly what I will do precisely but I will do my best,” she wrote.