When you’re battling depression, sometimes all it takes is one kind word from a stranger to turn your day around.
Teenager Bekah Georgy of Manchester, New Hampshire, has battled depression, anxiety, and anorexia for most of her life. Over the years, her struggles have landed her in the hospital and rehabilitation facilities, and her life felt so desperate and hopeless that she has attempted suicide an astounding five times. But one simple act changed everything for her.
One day in 2014, she found herself at a crossroads yet again. On this day, she decided to end it all… until a coffee shop barista wrote one word on her cup that made her smile, giving her the hope she needed in that moment to carry on.
Bekah has always been an avid ballet dancer, theater lover, and coffee fanatic.
If you browse her Facebook photos, you’ll see countless images of a beautiful, smiling young woman. Yet underneath the surface, Bekah’s mental health had dipped to an all-time low.
One morning, Bekah visited her doctor and had what she considered to be “a horrible therapy session.” Her mental state was in a downward spiral; her anorexia had gotten out of control again, and she was filled with despair.
When her eating disorder got bad, the only thing she could keep down was coffee, so she headed to her local Starbucks. That one quick trip to the coffee shop ended up saving her life that day.
For whatever reason, instead of writing Bekah’s name on the cup, the barista wrote one word: “Smile!!”
Bekah, who wears a nasogastric (NG) feeding tube in her nostril because she can’t get adequate nutrition through eating, speculated that perhaps the barista recognized that in spite of outward appearances, Bekah was struggling.
“Maybe you wrote ‘smile’ on my drink because you saw the feeding tube. Or maybe you could see past my fake smile because you’ve been where I am. Either way, I’m grateful. You didn’t have to make my order special. You could have treated me like another annoying customer. But you took that extra second to add some positivity to a life that’s been filled with so much negatively lately.”
Whatever the reason for the random note may have been, Bekah found herself filled with renewed hope. She left the coffee shop with a new focus on getting back to wellness, no matter how difficult the journey might be.
She is now a nanny who advocates for eating disorder awareness every chance she gets, but she’ll never forget how one random act of kindness helped her step away from the suicidal thoughts that had plagued her for years.
“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,” Bekah said.
We’re rooting for you, Bekah. Continue to flourish and stay healthy!
Please share this story as a reminder to perform small acts of kindness whenever possible. You never know when doing so might save a life.
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