The Wolf Finally Frees Itself - a column by Brianna Albers

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Brianna Albers (she/her) is a crip cyborg storyteller living in Minneapolis-St. Paul. In 2016, she founded Monstering, a magazine for disabled women and nonbinary people. She consults as a patient ambassador for SMA My Way and writes the column “The Wolf Finally Frees Itself” for SMA News Today. She is currently revising THE SAINT AND THE SPIDER, an adult space fantasy with #OwnVoices disability representation. Find her on social media @briehalbers.

Cat vs. Allergies: A Devil’s Bargain

I never think about my life after 7 p.m. Years ago, I stumbled across this particularly helpful life tip. As someone with anxiety, I have a hard time shutting up my brain, especially after the sun sets. Depending on my mood, I can easily get wrapped up in worst-case…

A Year Later, I’m Still Wearing Old Shoes

Last January, I wrote about shoes. At the time, I was gearing up to get a new wheelchair. Those who are familiar with wheelchairs will recognize this process for what it is: absolute agony. From seating to driving to minuscule issues that you can’t pinpoint for the life of…

The Enemy Is Urgency

In 2019, something wonderful happened. I got bit by the tattoo bug. If you’ve followed my column for a while, you’ll know my first tattoo was a big deal. First, it was finding an artist I vibed with. Then it was finding an accessible parlor — no mean…

Even in the Midst of COVID-19, We Must Own Our Time

As I write this, my room glows in the midafternoon sun. Sometime last year, I invested in a suncatcher, so there are rainbows everywhere — pastel sunbursts that are there, then gone. It’s unseasonably warm in Minnesota today, so the snow is melting, dripping steadily off the roof. According to…

Having a Body Is a Full-time Job

“One thing’s for sure,” I tell my dad. “This is going to make a great column.” I’d been dreading this doctor’s appointment for days, and not just because of the hell that is commuting during the winter. The last time I was at this clinic, a neurologist questioned whether I…

My Year of Liberation

When it comes to rituals, I am religious. Weekly rituals are the shortest, and consist largely of short-term planning. Monthly and quarterly rituals, on the other hand, are more reflective. Instead of updating my calendar and to-do list, I journal about my values. I revisit the goals I set…

We’re Still in a Pandemic

In terms of “things I was expecting,” my mom coming down with COVID-19 was not one of them. The Albers family is notorious for doing too much at once. One of my caregivers often jokes that we’re the busiest people she knows. If we’re not renovating something, there’s a good…

Reflecting on 2 Years of SMA My Way

It’s strange to think that a little over two years ago, I witnessed — and participated in — the conception of SMA My Way, a patient-focused community sponsored by the biotech company Genentech to support all of those affected by SMA. A lot has changed since then. I graduated…

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

My local clinic isn’t actually local. Boasting neighbors like IKEA and the Midwest tourist trap that is the Mall of America, my clinic is a 20-minute drive — one way. I could take the moderately more scenic route if I didn’t have a penchant for running late, but I…