To the Starbucks Barista Who Doesn't Judge Me for My Eating Disorder
Editor’s note: If you live with an eating disorder, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “NEDA” to 741-741.
You don’t know me, or maybe you do because I come in a lot. I can’t help it — I live so close by. On good days, when my foggy brain needs a caffeine kick, I order iced tea or a tea latte. Milk isn’t my friend, so you may realize I get a little bougie and splurge on the coconut milk.
But every once in a while, I don’t come in for something to drink, but rather to eat. Oh, Starbucks and your endless array of desserts, of muffins, pound cake, scones, cookies … When I come in for a snack, it’s never just one of these items. I impulsively order more, granting my cravings the purchasing power. The Sam who comes into Starbucks for baked goods is not the Sam who casually comes in for a beverage. You are serving someone with binge eating disorder.
So I wanted to thank you for serving me without judgment. You go behind the bakery counter to retrieve my order and are nothing but friendly. Good customer service goes a long way with a sometimes self-conscious customer.
Last summer, I went to the grocery store and bought a lot of treats. The man behind me made some comments about my purchases that were unsolicited and inappropriate. Granted, this was before I even recognized I had a problem with food, so I shrugged off his remarks. If it were now, I would feel differently. There is a lot of stigma around eating disorders, and with stigma comes shame.
I guess what I’m trying to say is thank you for not adding to the self-criticism or guilt that is often attached to binge eating. You reinforce what I try to practice every day, which is to treat everyone with kindness because we know nothing about the demons people face.
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Unsplash photo via Brigitte Tohm.
If you or someone you know has an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorders Association helpline: 800-931-2237.