The actress — who revealed in October 2018 that she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis — gave her first television interview on Tuesday, speaking to Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts.
The actress told Roberts that she was in the midst of a flare-up, and was experiencing spasmodic dysphonia, a neurological disorder which affected her voice.
“I am doing very well,” said Blair, 46. “I am very happy to see you. Being able to just put out what being in the middle of an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis is like. So my speech, I have spasmodic dysphonia right now. … It is interesting to be here to say this is what my particular case looks like right now.”
Opening up about first receiving the diagnosis after seeking out numerous doctors, Blair said she “cried.”
“I had tears,” she explained. “They weren’t tears of panic, they were tears of knowing that I now had to give in to a body that had loss of control and there was some relief in that.”
Blair said she experienced symptoms for some time before learning she had MS, but was “giving it everything to seem normal” around son Arthur, 7 — including “self-medicating.”
“There were times when I couldn’t take it and I was really struggling with how I’m going to get by in life,” she admitted, noting she was “not being taken seriously by doctors.”
Recounted the Legally Blonde actress, “I dropped my son off at school a mile away and before I got home I’d have to pull over and take a nap … it was killing me. And so when I got the diagnosis, I cried with relief.”
The star said she previously sought out advice from Michael J. Fox, who has lived with Parkinson’s disease in the public eye for decades.
“I said, ‘I don’t know who to tell, I’m dropping things, I’m doing strange things.’ … he got in touch with me… but like really he gives me hope,” she said.
While Arthur knows about his mom’s disease, she says she is focused on making her young son “feel safe, never responsible for me.” She’s also learned that it’s okay to take a day off if she needs it. “My son gets it and now I’ve learned to not feel really guilty,” she explained.
Though Blair — who stepped out on the red carpet at the Vanity Fair Oscar party on Sunday — was “scared of talking,” she’s hopeful that her appearance brings awareness to the disease.
And because her doctor said she could regain 90 percent of her abilities within the next year, Blair is hoping to reunite with Roberts in 2020 to measure her progress.
Joked the smiling star to GMA, “No one has the energy to talk when they’re in a flare-up, but I do because I love a camera.”