Actress Selma Blair Shares How Chronic Illness Can Lead to 'Uncontrollable' Anxiety
The symptoms and pain associated with chronic illness are enough to handle on their own. Unfortunately, chronic illness can take a toll on your mental health as well. Actress Selma Blair candidly spoke about the anxiety and isolation that comes with a chronic illness on her Instagram Monday.
“There is a truth with neurogedenerative brain disease,” Blair, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in August, wrote. “It is uncomfortable. It is a stadium of uncontrollable anxiety at times.”
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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 ???? #humancondition #strengthinvulnerablity #MS #stillanactress #always #willmakeitwork #heartwideopen ❤️ #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?
Blair said that having a chronic illness can make you feel alone, even when we have a loving support system. “People write me asking how I do it,” she continued. “I do my best. But I choke with the pain of what I have lost and what I dare hope for.”
Blair previously posted about grieving her diagnosis and the life changes that often come with a chronic illness. We have to find our “new normal” and with progressive illnesses like MS, that new normal can change as time goes on.
There are often many unknowns with chronic illnesses: Will I be able to get out of bed tomorrow? Is this a “normal” flare or is this a progression? Will I have to miss my kid’s soccer game?
It can be hard to find a balance in the wake of the unknowns, so it makes sense to feel anxious. We also have to be aware of our limits and prepare ourselves for the “heavy price” — as Blair calls it — being social or going out can have on us.
“Life is an adventure with many shards of awakening,” Blair wrote. “I can’t sleep at night but daytime I have trouble staying awake… 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.”
If you’re struggling with anxiety about your chronic illness and the toll it’s taking on your life, you’re not alone. Chronic illness doesn’t just affect your physical health. It finds its way into all aspects of your life, and that is no easy feat to juggle that every day. You’re doing the best you can, and that’s enough.