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‘I Don’t Enjoy Living’: Christina Applegate Gets Candid About Multiple Sclerosis

"It's been a tough road."

Christina Applegate has never been one to stray away from speaking her truth, especially since she made her multiple sclerosis diagnosis public. 

In 2022, the actress made her first public appearance after revealing her battle with multiple sclerosis in August 2021.

The actress, who was being honoured with her own star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame, gave an emotionally-charged speech which moved many to tears. 

“I can’t stand for too long so I’m going to thank the people I really need to thank,” she said. “This day means more to me than you can possibly imagine.” 

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that causes major disruptions between the brain and the body, makes it difficult for the two to communicate. As a result, people who suffer from the condition can have difficulties walking and moving, often relying on a cane.

The exact cause is still unknown and the disease disproportionately affects women. Currently there is no cure. 

Below, everything Applegate has said about her condition since revealing her diagnosis

August 2021: The Diagnosis 

Applegate at the 71st Emmy Awards (Credit: Getty)

After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and undergoing a bilateral mastectomy, Applegate was no stranger to struggles with her body. 

“I cry at least once a day about it because it’s hard to overlook it when you’re standing there in the mirror. When you look down, it’s the first thing you see… So you’re reminded constantly of this thing, this cancer thing that you had,” Applegate told the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2008.

In 2017, she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed and endured surgery-induced menopause in 2018. 

Then, in August 2021, the actress announced to the world via Twitter that she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis a few months prior. 

“Hi friends. A few months ago I was diagnosed with MS. It’s been a strange journey. But I have been so supported by people that I know who also have this condition. It’s been a tough road. But as we all know, the road keeps going. Unless some asshole blocks it,” she wrote. 

The post continued: “As one of my friends that has MS said “ we wake up and take the indicated action”. And that’s what I do. So now I ask for privacy. As I go through this thing. Thank you xo.”

A few months later, she celebrated her 50th birthday, sharing her struggles on Twitter once again. 

“Yup. I turned 50 today. And I have MS. It’s been a hard one. Sending so much love to all of you this day. Many are hurting today, and I am thinking of you. May we find that strength to lift our heads up. Mine currently is on my pillow. But I try.” 

January 2022: Hopes For The Future 

A few months after revealing her diagnosis, Applegate held a Q&A on Twitter, where a fan asked her what her 2022 goals were. 

“Cure for MS maybe?????” she replied. 

Another fan asked about her iconic 2022 movie The Sweetest Thing, which saw her star alongside Selma Blair and Cameron Diaz.

The actress responded by saying that filming the movie was “so fun,” but that it was “sad both of us have MS,” referencing Blair, who revealed she also had the disease in 2018. 

October 2022: The Cane Collection 

While preparing for a “very important ceremony,” Applegate took the opportunity to share her cane collection with the world, tweeting a photo of five different walking sticks. 

November 2022: The Candid Interview 

Speaking to The New York Times, Applegate spoke about her anger over the life she’s “lost” as a result of her condition. 

“I’m never going to accept this. I’m pissed,” she told the outlet, before adding that the five month break between receiving her diagnosis and going public with it was good for her to process the parts of herself she had lost. 

In the same interview, the actress discussed the challenges of filming the last season of Netflix’s Dead To Me, which she stars in alongside Linda Cardellini. 

“The powers that be were like, ‘Let’s just stop. We don’t need to finish it. Let’s put a few episodes together [with previously recorded footage],” Applegate said. “I said, ‘No. We’re going to do it, but we’re going to do it on my terms.'”

The realities of filming were tough, with Applegate needing a wheelchair to take her to set along with regular breaks during takes. Scenes of her walking into rooms have now been cut shorter as it was proving increasingly more difficult for her to do. 

Applegate and Linda Cardellini co-star in ‘Dead To Me’ (Credit: Netflix)

Applegate used the interview as an opportunity to discuss her changing body. 

“This is the first time anyone’s going to see me the way I am,” she said. “I put on 40 pounds (approx. 18kg); I can’t walk without a cane. I want people to know that I am very aware of all of that.”

November 2022: The Walk Of Fame 

Applegate is seen during her Hollywood Walk of Fame star ceremony at the Hollywood Walk of Fame (Credit: Getty)

In November 2022, just a year after the announcement of her diagnosis, Applegate made a public appearance for the first time to receive her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

“I don’t say that I have friends, I have family,” she said, speaking to the people who stood beside her which included Linda Cardellini and Selma Blair.

“These people take care of me. They take care of me every day of my life and without them I don’t know what I would do,” she said.

Addressing her 11-year-old daughter Sadie who was also in attendance, the actress became visibly emotional. 

“The most important person in this world is my daughter,” she said. “You are so much more than even you know. You are so beautiful and kind and loving and smart and interesting and I am blessed every day that I get to wake up and take you to your school. You are my everything. Thank you for standing beside me through all of this.”

Later in her speech, she acknowledged her MS for the first time, making light of the fact that she had attended the ceremony shoeless. 

“Oh, by the way, I have a disease,” she joked. “Did you not notice? I’m not wearing shoes! Anywho, you’re supposed to laugh at that.”

February 2023: The SAG Awards

Christina Applegate and her daughter, Sadie Grace LeNoble, at the 2023 SAG Awards (Credit: Source: Getty)

In 2023, Christina Applegate made a rare red carpet appearence at the 2023 Screen Actors Guild Awards with her daughter, Sadie Grace LeNoble. The star was nominated for outstanding performance by a female actor in a comedy series for her performance in Dead To Me.

Prior to the ceremony, Applegate revealed that the SAG Awards could most likely be her last award show appearance. 

“It’s my last awards show as an actor probably, so it’s kind of a big deal,” she said to the Los Angeles Times in November. The star hasn’t officially confirmed her retirement from acting, but revealed that she’s currently focusing on her health.

June 2024: Christina Opens Up On Her Podcast, MeSsy

Christina made a surprise appearance at the Emmys in 2023. Image: Getty

In a recent episode of her podcast, MeSsy, Applegate got candid about the mental toll of her diagnosis with MS, saying she was in the midst of a depression.

“Like a real, f**k-it-all depression where it’s kind of scaring me, too, a little bit because it feels really fatalistic. I’m trapped in, like, this darkness right now that I haven’t felt [in], like, I don’t even know how long, probably 20-something years,” she shared.

“This is being really honest… I don’t enjoy living. I don’t enjoy it. I don’t enjoy things anymore,” she continued.

The episode was recorded back in January, 2024, alongside Applegate’s co-host,  Jamie-Lynn Sigler.

In the emotional conversation, she also told Sigler that she had contacted her therapist, “which was a big thing for me to do.” Applegate went on to explain to her listeners that she had avoided therapy amid her diagnosis because she was “so afraid to start crying,” and that she would “not be able to end” the tears.

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