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.

Unlike Hamilton, I Threw Away My Shot

My first instinct was to scream. After weeks of waiting, and days of researching clinics and time slots, I finally received the prized text message: “Brianna and 2 caregivers have been selected for the COVID vaccine.” I screamed, then sent an all-caps message to a group chat with friends that…

As Someone With SMA, the Fight for My Life Never Ends

It’s become a sort of ritual. Once every few weeks around 3 p.m., my mom will drop by my room. “So,” she’ll say, with ridiculous amounts of forced brightness. “So.” Code word for “We need to talk.” Code word for “I just checked the mail, and you’re not going to…

My SMA Friends Remind Me That It’s OK to Rest

You already know that for the longest time, I didn’t want friends with SMA. I was young and desperate to be seen as “cool” (whatever that means), but more than that, I was dumb. I thought that being seen with “people like me” would ruin my street cred —…

How a Head Cold Saved My Life (Figuratively)

We all know that I hate getting up early. Just like I hate adjusting to a new wheelchair — I’ll do it if I have to, but that doesn’t mean I won’t complain about it. So you can imagine my dismay when my caregiver sent me the most dreaded…

For the Love of Frozen Breakfast Food

For the longest time, winters were a joyful occasion. It wasn’t that I liked the snow, or the sickness, or the slog of self-isolation. I didn’t want to stay home for a third of the school year. I didn’t want to wrestle with long division and cellular anatomy all by…

I’m Learning to Embrace a New Shoe

I’m notorious for despising new wheelchairs. It’s not just the discomfort. It’s the painstaking process of calibration — tweaking and experimenting and grumbling under my breath, because my head needs to be tilted a certain way, and how am I supposed to adjust to a completely different headrest? Not to…