The Wolf Finally Frees Itself - a column by Brianna Albers

dream, cybernetics, meditations, disability visibility, early start times, truth

Brianna (she/her) is a crip cyborg storyteller living in Minneapolis-St. Paul. She was diagnosed with SMA Type II at 9 months of age and lives with co-occurring physical and mental health conditions. By day, she works as an advocate, bridging disability and mental health awareness to empower people to live their best lives; by night, she dabbles in imagination, and is in the process of making the book of her heart, “#WaningCrescent,” the best it can be. Find her online at www.briannahopealbers.com and on social media @briehalbers.

What the Mentally Ill 20-Somethings Do

The insecurity hits when I least expect it. I knew it would take me a while to adjust to post-grad life. I spent 20 years in school, eight of which were online. I didn’t have the social life people associate with college students living on campus. My life consisted of…

My Latest Procedure Didn’t Go as Planned

One might say I was giddy. Once or twice a month, I drive 20 minutes to get shot up with allergens (mold and cat dander, for the curious). So the act itself was mundane. There was nothing special about trekking across the suburbs to my clinic of choice, aka…

Anxiety and Apple Orchards Redux

Three years ago, I wrote a column about anxiety and apple orchards. After a long day at an orchard with my caregiver and her daughter, I reflected on something my therapist had said to me: “Can you feel the anxiety and do it anyway?” Three years later, life looks…

Philips Respironics Recall Triggered My Health Anxiety

I’m about to give myself credit where credit is due: I didn’t freak out for several months. I have undiagnosed, but undeniable, health anxiety. So, I was surprised by my reaction to a recall announced last June by Philips Respironics of 13 respiratory machines, including the BiPAP machine I’ve…

I’m Worried About the KOTOR Remake

I knew I was in for a treat when a friend texted me in all caps: “BRIE BRIE BRIE!” I was so into the book I was reading that I took a while to check my notifications. But once I did, it didn’t take me long at all to scream…

Today and Every Day, I Choose Rest

When it comes to vendettas, I have two. One is against Sigmund Freud. Freud, the “father” of psychology, who’s known for his unbelievably misogynistic views. Google “Freud misogyny” and you’ll get a laundry list of jeremiads decrying his influence on the mental health profession. Some of my favorites include…

Our Lives Are Evidence

Every August, I sit across from a nurse and prove that I am, in fact, still disabled. Disclaimer: I completely understand why assessments are necessary. I’m the beneficiary of countless government programs, from Medicaid to much-needed support funds. I’m not just blessed, I’m privileged as all get-out. I dislike the…

We Choose to Fight for the People Left Behind

Weeks ago, when my friend Sherry and I started brainstorming topics for Disability Pride and SMA Awareness Month, we talked about choice. Specifically the hypothetical kind. In an ideal world, with free healthcare and radical accessibility, would we choose to stay disabled? It’s a question I’ve asked myself numerous…

SMA Is Full of Contradictions

This month, I’m celebrating SMA Awareness Month the only way I know how: by recognizing that SMA is full of contradictions. Last year, I wrote an entire jeremiad on my ambivalence toward SMA Awareness Month. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t like it, either. I recognized the benefits…