“You didn’t know me and you didn’t know my story,” begins Bekah Georgy’s moving letter to a kind barista.
With a simple message written on her Starbucks cup — the word “smile” with a happy face — a stranger managed to brighten up Georgy’s day and seemingly validate all the struggles that she has been through.
“When you look at me, you might assume I’m happy, bubbly, outgoing and full of life. But you don’t really see the complete me. You wouldn’t know that behind this plastered smile is a girl who has broken and fallen to pieces. You wouldn’t know this girl had so much self-hate, she starved herself for over half her young life. Or that she’s tried to end her own life five times. I’m guessing you didn’t know these past few weeks, and that day particularly, had been extremely hard.”
Georgy struggles with anorexia nervosa, wherein she has to fight in order to maintain healthy habits, or else spiral back into a self-destructive pattern of not eating. The barista might have seen Georgy’s feeding tube, a necessary leftover mark from her past, or he might’ve seen the sadness hidden deep within her eyes. Or perhaps he was just compassionate, and wanted to take the time to help out the mood of a stranger.
But that one little message changed her day and perhaps her life for the better.
“You see, my day consisted of a horrible doctor’s appointment and a horrible therapy session. I was filled with hopelessness, and my suicidal thoughts were getting worse. When my anorexia is bad sometimes coffee is the only thing I can drink. But I was afraid to consume even coffee that day. If I hadn’t encountered that cup, I could have done more damage to myself that night. When I read that word, I couldn’t help but smile, literally.
A simple act of kindness can mean the world to someone. It can provide hope for the hopeless. Now I plan to pass this hope along. So barista, thank you. Thank you for turning my day around.”
You never know what a stranger is going through — it’s always important to remember that everyone has plenty of difficult things to deal with as they go about their day to day life. The smallest of gestures can go a long way in making the world a better place.
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