When it comes to living with a chronic illness, no two individuals will have the exact same experience. Yet, at the same time, there's a certain degree of understanding you can only have if you've experienced something just as devastating. In a recent Instagram post, Selma Blair described the grief of living with a chronic illness in a really moving way.
Blair, who in October of 2018 revealed that she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, USA Today reported, understands that it's crucial to find the silver lining, and to rejoice in the opportunities that she does have to enjoy her life.
"There is a truth with neurodegenerative 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," she began in her caption.
"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. But my smiles are genuine. This is ok. Life is an adventure with many shards of awakening."
Blair went onto say that she at once has trouble sleeping at night, and yet also has trouble staying awake during the day. However, despite all of the challenges of her disease, she says that she has a "full week ahead with mothering and appointments and things to look forward to," emphasizing how challenging ongoing health issues can be especially when you have a job and family and children to care for.
For those who aren't familiar with the disease, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society explains that MS is a disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the central nervous system. "The system designed to keep your body healthy mistakenly attacks parts of your body that are vital to everyday function," Healthline explained. "The protective coverings of nerve cells are damaged, which leads to diminished function in the brain and spinal cord."
Blair first shared her diagnosis late last year, also on Instagram. In the post, she explained that as she's working, she has a team of people who help her get dressed, and that she is beginning to witness her body's "deterioration."
"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," she wrote.
Blair continued: "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... 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."
Though it is certainly no public figure's responsibility to disclose the details of their health, it is so important that some choose to discuss it so candidly. Furthering the conversation about this particular reality that many people face is absolutely essential toward greater understanding, and ultimately, for those facing it themselves, finding a way to cope.
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