Over the past year, Selma Blair has been incredibly candid about her struggle with multiple sclerosis, and now the actress is speaking out to detail the impact that her condition has had on her young son – almost 12 months to the day since she was diagnosed.
The 47-year-old first revealed to the world that she had MS in October 2018, having been diagnosed in August of that same year. Since then, she and her seven-year-old son Arthur have been coming to terms with what that means for their lives, with Selma admitting that her young son has had to ‘endure a lot’ over the past year.
While posing with her son for the cover of this week’s People magazine, Selma added that Arthur has ‘seen a lot’, including watching his mother fall down the stairs and ‘rush to a bathroom’ when she is hit by a wave of nausea.
Speaking out: Selma Blair has opened up about her multiple sclerosis and how it affects her life, and her son, 12 months after she was diagnosed
Proud mom: The 47-year-old actress admitted that her seven-year-old son Arthur has ‘endured a lot’ and ‘seen a lot’, including watching his mother fall down the stairs
Bond: Despite the toll that her MS has taken, Selma praised her son’s positive outlook, saying that the youngster is ‘so well adjusted’
However, despite the toll that his mother’s condition has undoubtedly taken, Selma says Arthur – whose father is designer Jason Bleick, whom the actress was in a relationship for two years, from 2010 until 2012 – remains incredibly positive, and unwaveringly supportive.
When it comes to her condition, Selma told People that Arthur, who celebrates his eighth birthday on July 25, has proudly told his friends that ‘Mommy’s not sick, Mommy’s brave’.
I thought, “I’m probably an embarrassment,” but to know I’m not was one of my proudest moments,’ she added.
The actress recalled a moment when her son spoke to her about what his friends at school think about her condition, explaining that he said he loves when his mother visits his classroom because she ‘makes the kids laugh and answers all their questions’.
‘I explain what’s happening and that my voice doesn’t hurt, and we have really decent exchanges,’ she said. ‘I had no idea Arthur was proud of that.’
When it comes to their day-to-day life, Selma says she is accepting of her limitations, and that she tries to ensure that she maintains a good balance, to ensure that she has enough energy to focus on her son and his needs.
‘Everything is for Arthur,’ she said in a video interview with People. ‘He makes me laugh, he is so well adjusted.
‘It took me 44 years to get where he is at seven. He knows what he wants, he doesn’t put up with garbage, and yet he’s very empathetic.
‘And he’s very grounded, [he has a great] sense of humor… and he has great hair! He’s a good looking kid!’
As far as their daily routine, Selma says she is determined to spend as much time with her son as possible, even if that means taking time elsewhere during the day to get the rest that she needs, for example when her son is at school.
Cover star: Selma appears on the front of this week’s People magazine, in which she went into candid detail about her condition and how it has changed her life over the last year
Meaningful: Selma admitted that her ‘proudest moment’ to date is when her son told his friends at school, ‘Mommy’s not sick, Mommy’s brave’ and said he loved having her visit
Moving ahead: The actress shared that she is currently in a ‘transition’, which means that she is having to rest more than normal in order to grow stronger
‘So I’m in kind of a transition right now where I’m resting more and trying to get stronger,’ she explained, adding that she tends to wake up with her son ‘before six’, giving the two some time to ‘play a little’ before their day really starts.
‘Then I make him breakfast and we spend time together, and then I take him to school and then I kind of rest and do little work things,’ she said.
Selma also doesn’t let her condition get in the way of mother and son fun, admitting that the duo actually ‘play dodgeball’ together regularly.
‘I don’t dodge, because that could be so dangerous!’ she noted. ‘Maybe in the future for sure, but I don’t move side to side perfect… so I get to just hit him. And then he throws it back to me, really chivalrously.
‘And then I get to hit him again. And he thinks it’s amazing. It feels good.’
Arthur is not the only person in her life who has been a source of support; Selma also praised his father Jason, saying that her ex – with whom she has a ‘flexible custody arrangement’ has ‘shown up in a big way’ for her and their son.
‘I’m really proud of us,’ she added.
The actress went on to praise those closes to her for their constant support, paying tribute to fellow actresses Jaime King and Sarah Michelle Gellar in particular for all that they have done to help her over the past year.
‘Jaime King showed up to my doctors and I’m always happy to see that face because she’s so gorgeous, I mean she really is the prettiest girl I’ve seen in my life,’ she said.
As for Sarah, Selma revealed that her former Cruel Intentions co-star ‘made the meal train’, a system that ensures there is always food in the house for Selma and her son Arthur to eat, even when Selma doesn’t have the energy to cook.
Partners in crime: Selma admitted that ‘everything’ she does is for her son Arthur, explaining that she tries as best she can to conserve energy so she can be with him as much as possible
Support system: She said that her closest friends Sarah Michelle Gellar (left) and Jaime King (right) have gone above and beyond to help her and Arthur
The actress noted that support systems like these are what help her to get through each day, referring to the ‘Spoon Theory’, which is a metaphor used to describe how people with disabilities cope with a reduced amount of energy.
Effectively, the theory uses spoons to describe the limited energy a person living with a disability might have, with Selma noting that if she only has six spoons of energy per day, she might be forced to ‘borrow’ additional spoons from the following day in order to deal with everything she needs to – and will then end up having to spend an entire day in bed because she has depleted her physical resources too quickly.
Having people like Sarah to help take away some of her day-to-day burdens however means that she can conserve her energy, or her ‘spoons’, and use them on more meaningful pursuits, like reading with her son, or spending time with him.
Selma’s latest interview comes almost five months to the day since she made her first TV appearance after her MS diagnosis.
In February of this year, the actress sat down with GMA’s Robin Roberts to explain what it felt like when doctors finally revealed that she had the condition – which she believes she had suffered from for over a decade before that point.
‘I cried, I had tears,’ she said of her reaction to the diagnosis. ‘They weren’t tears of panic. They were tears of knowing I now had to give in to a body that had loss of control.
‘And there was some relief in that. Cause ever since my son was born, I was in an MS flare-up and didn’t know, and I was giving it everything to seem normal.’
That struggle to seem normal, Selma admitted, involved self-medicating whenever she was not around her son Arthur, now seven, as well as drinking heavily in order to cope with the pain and exhaustion that she was struggling to combat.
‘I was self-medicating when [Arthur] wasn’t with me,’ she said. ‘I was drinking, I was in pain.
‘I wasn’t always drinking, but there were times when I couldn’t take it. And I was really struggling with how am I going to get by in life.’