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.

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…

Crip Wealth and the Tapestry of Pride

The problem with disability pride is that it’s a little bit mythical. It’s not something you can describe or explain. It’s an enigma. A paradox. It shouldn’t exist, but it does, and the illogic of it — valuing something the world abhors — makes the concept seem impossible. You…

Surprise! Your Favorite Character Might Be Disabled

It’s no surprise that I love seeing myself in my favorite stories. Take “Mass Effect,” for example, a science fiction media franchise by video game developer BioWare. One of my best friends, Sherry, has written several columns about the franchise, which she recently played from beginning to end. Every…

‘All of Us Will Become Disabled and Sick’

When thinking about disability pride — specifically the content I wanted to create for Disability Pride Month — I found myself returning to a quote from “Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice” by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. “[A] core part of disability justice work [is] making the next world, the…

I Believe I Can Do Hard Things

I know that self-talk is important, including the words we use and our tone of voice. We’re usually trying to look out for ourselves, but more often than not, our good intentions are swallowed by feelings of shame. But it doesn’t matter how many posts I like on Instagram…

When Disability Representation Falls Short

Everyone knows that I’m a “Star Wars” buff. Lately, I’ve been listening to “Star Wars” audiobooks, specifically the Old Republic series. I’d heard some not-so-great things about the first novel, “Revan,” but eventually, my curiosity won out. After all, if there’s one thing “Star Wars” audiobooks have going for them,…

The Power of Proximity to Ease Burdens

Over the years, I’ve grown more reliant on friends, especially those who live with some sort of disability. Of course, I treasure all my friendships, but there is a bond between disabled folks that transcends most relationships. It’s a special kind of knowing, a wordless understanding that is reassuring. I…