Selma Blair Shares What It’s Like to Grieve Getting a Diagnosis You’ve Been Living With for Over a Decade


Chronic illnesses are just that — chronic. Though we may live with a condition for years, that doesn’t mean we’re immune to struggling with our diagnosis even years after receiving it. When we experience flares, a progression of our condition or simply realize we can no longer do something, it’s perfectly natural to feel grief, no matter how long you’ve lived with your condition.

Actress Selma Blair, who revealed she had multiple sclerosis (MS) in October, shared on Instagram the grief she experiences even 15 years after the onset of her symptoms. In her post on Friday, Blair recounts trying to show her son a cartwheel — an action she typically does with ease.

“I was the most gymnastic mom I knew,” she wrote. “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.”

Though she laughed with her son in the moment, she said she came to a “grim realization.” She wasn’t sure if this was just her MS or if she was still experiencing an exacerbation of it from a month before.

Blair speculated if this was her “new normal” and shared the realization many people with a progressive disease face: more of your normal “gets taken away” as time goes on.

“What do we do when the news is old but dramatically altering our lives every day,” Blair asked, noting she’s still grateful for everything.

While we may have gotten our diagnosis years prior, or even if we’re still fighting for one, the emotional pain that comes with a chronic illness can ebb and flow. Some days we may be able to accept it and feel fine. Other days we may feel cheated, terrified or inexplicably sad. We have every right to feel the way we do about our chronic illness — no matter if we received a diagnosis yesterday or ten years ago.

You can read Blair’s full post below:

View this post on Instagram

Thanksgiving is dwindling down for me. I stayed home. It was the right place for me today. And tears came. And lost myself in Joan Didion and the beautiful documentary by @griffindunne . Sublime. Her dedication to her life’s work ,her way of observing humanity and her ever present dignity through her writing and her presence… cracked me. I have always been grateful to her. She is so much of a person. Thank you #griffindunne and #joandidion for making this film. Thank you to @collectivemetals my forever friend for gifting me these precious gold warrior rings. @james.kennedy_ you have a ???? of gold. Thank you @mazzhannabeauty for giving my hands some #crystallove . I want the world to have more Joan didions. More Griffin Dunnes. More James Kennedy’s and Mazz Hannah’s More Carrie Fisher , (because I just miss her every day. Knowing she could be there )More connection. More honesty. I have been grieving recently. For the things I took for granted. A cartwheel for my son being one. I was the most gymnastic mom 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 realization. Is this just #ms or Is this still an exacerbation ? Five months and still same way. Or is this my new normal? And then more gets taken away. As Joan has written. The center will not hold. And as I write… neither will the rest of it. So I thank you all for propping me up. We all have something. Now how do we handle it? What do we do when the news is old but dramatically altering our lives every day? Still grateful.

A post shared by Selma Blair (@selmablair) on

Thanksgiving is dwindling down for me. I stayed home. It was the right place for me today. And tears came. And lost myself in Joan Didion and the beautiful documentary by @griffindunne . Sublime. Her dedication to her life’s work ,her way of observing humanity and her ever present dignity through her writing and her presence… cracked me. I have always been grateful to her. She is so much of a person. Thank you #griffindunne and #joandidion for making this film. Thank you to @collectivemetals my forever friend for gifting me these precious gold warrior rings. @james.kennedy_ you have a ???? of gold. Thank you @mazzhannabeauty for giving my hands some #crystallove . I want the world to have more Joan didions. More Griffin Dunnes. More James Kennedy’s and Mazz Hannah’s More Carrie Fisher , (because I just miss her every day. Knowing she could be there )More connection. More honesty.
I have been grieving recently. For the things I took for granted. A cartwheel for my son being one. I was the most gymnastic mom 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 realization. Is this just #ms or Is this still an exacerbation ? Five months and still same way. Or is this my new normal? And then more gets taken away. As Joan has written. The center will not hold. And as I write… neither will the rest of it. So I thank you all for propping me up. We all have something. Now how do we handle it? What do we do when the news is old but dramatically altering our lives every day? Still grateful.

Photo via Instagram


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