Community Stories

Micaela: Free from Shame

Micaela: Free from Shame | Libero Magazine 2
Today, I’m no longer ashamed of who I was, because I am confident in who I am now. This is my story, and I’m adding to it daily. I’m adding to it from now and for always, free of shame.

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If I’m being honest, I don’t know where to start this. Perhaps that’s okay. I think our lives are a work in progress, and not knowing what part of that we are in is perfectly alright.

I guess I could say it all started around the age of 14. My health began spiraling out of control, and I felt at a loss of what to do with myself in ways I never encountered before. You see, my life was never what one might call normal, and more often than not it ended up far from it.

I was born with a neuromuscular disorder, Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).

This is a disease that manifests itself in ways similar to ALS, except beginning in childhood. I became accustomed to the steady decline in strength throughout my young life, but was not prepared for a steep hill in which my health plummeted down, all at once, during my first years of high school.

I felt completely out of control, as if my body was foreign and controlling itself without my choices being factored in at all.

I turned to an eating disorder to find some semblance of control within the wreckage I felt my life had become.

I somehow believed that in keeping unhealthy restrictions on my eating habits, I could control one small aspect of my life, and feel “better” again. This wasn’t even close to the truth, and I ended up harming myself far more than any semblance of control I may have felt.

That was almost six years ago, and I’ve never truly shared my story before.

I’ve trusted a few people with snippets of it, but I’ve never truly accepted the things I put myself through as of yet. I felt that my past was a secret I couldn’t bare to share, and that my mistakes were broken pieces of myself that couldn’t be mended.

I’m finally at a point where I feel it’s okay to be honest. I’ve accepted that my past is part of what has made me who I am. I wouldn’t be the strong person I am today without my struggles with anorexia.

I wouldn’t be confident in the knowledge that I can overcome the barriers set in my path, if I hadn’t gone through these parts of my past.

Even with this knowledge, I’ve still had trouble sharing this part of my story, for fear of judgment.

Micaela: Free from Shame | Libero Magazine

Mental health is not something discussed or accepted nearly enough, and I didn’t want to be looked down on for something that was once out of my control. Until I accepted myself, I couldn’t even begin to allow others to do the same.

Today, I’m no longer ashamed of who I was, because I am confident in who I am now.

This is my story, and I’m adding to it daily. I’m adding to it from now and for always, free of shame.

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Join us as we break down stigma, shame, and secrecy by Voicing Freedom through our stories!



Micaela is a student at Simon Fraser University, working towards at double major in Communications and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies. She grew up in a small town in the Okanagan, and now calls Vancouver, BC her home. Micaela is passionate about telling peoples' stories, and creating words with weight.

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