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Note to Self.

by Sally Lynch 2 months ago in healing

Note to Self.

About this story…

Abigail’s crisis leads to an unexpected and exhilarating journey of self-discovery, aided by a small, black, mysterious notebook. In her darkest hour, when silence is the loudest noise she’ll make, the only person listening, is her. This is Abigail taking back herself.

Note to self –

Write to self, read self, hear self and then self and I will be on the same page.



Another crisis was imminent. Abigail, felt her tension rising as she scoured the house for coins to buy sanitary items. Unsurprisingly, her mum blew their last fifty on booze, and the next welfare cheque was two days away. Stuffing a wad of toilet paper in her undies, Abigail tied a cardigan around her waist for extra protection. She legged it for the corner shop, praying it was open and her bleed was not too obvious. Scampering along, afraid to tilt the paper out of place, silent tears fell down her face. At home, her mum lay passed out, drunk, on the couch.

The corner shop was shut. Abigail sat her back against the front window, held her head in her hands and cried. She knew the only thing worse than this, is tomorrow. Tomorrow is the day prior to welfare cheque day and her mum had already drank herself through all her booze and money. Which meant, tomorrow would be the day her mum is at her worst, recalling the heavy slap in the face she received last time.

‘Abigail…, is that you?’ came the familiar voice of Mrs Valamanesh, who lived with her wife and two children across the street from her. Embarrassed due to her mum’s drunk ‘Leso’ comment a few days earlier, Abigail reluctantly looked up.

‘Sorry for my mum’s behaviour,’ said Abigail, wiping her tears.

‘Thankyou! That’s thoughtful, but not your apology to make,’ said Mrs Valamanesh, adding, ‘What’s the matter?’

‘I just got my period and need to buy pads, but the stupid shop is shut.’ Replied Abigail, feeling her sense of dignity sliding well and truly out the door.

‘Come dear. I can help.’ Replied Mrs Valamanesh as they walked towards home.

Abigail waited in the front yard, while Mrs Valamanesh went inside to gather sanitary items. Returning, she handed Abigail a pretty woven tote bag, filled to the brim. ‘This should do you for a while. If ever you need anything, please ask.’ said Mrs Valamanesh.

‘Thank you!’ replied Abigail.

‘Wait... one more thing,’ said Mrs Valamanesh, retrieving a small, black, mysterious notebook from underneath her arm. ‘This is for you.’

‘What is it? Abigail asked.

‘First, let me ask you this… How old are you Abi?’

‘I turned Sixteen last June,’ replied Abigail.

‘When you wake up, what do you think about first?’ Asked Mrs Valamanesh.

‘I wonder if mum will be alive, if I might find her dead. I think about the mess she has left for me to clean up. I think about not having money to buy groceries and how to make dinner from nothing. Each day is pretty much the same.’ Replied Abigail.

‘Then let me ask you this?... Do you know what you love Abi? Or where you might want to travel? Or what it is you want to be when you grow up?’ Asked Mrs Valamanesh.

‘Um,…’ Abigail paused, as she felt a lump forming in her throat. ‘It’s not something I think about. I’m stuck looking after mum, we don’t have money for food, especially not to plan a trip. Um,… I guess I don’t know the answers to your questions.’ Replied Abigail, confronted and confused.

‘This notebook Abi, it has an extraordinary ability. It will give you clarity and perspective, creativity and imagination and most importantly, it will define you in a record so that you should never forget who you are. On these pages, you can be whoever you want to be, let your imagination run wild and travel your universe.’ Said Mrs Valamanesh.

‘I’m not entirely sure I understand.’ replied Abigail.

‘Each day, start by making a note to yourself. Your ‘note to self’ must be about you and written to you. It can be about what you love, who you are, memories you cherish, what you dream about, your aspirations, things you want to do, places you want to go. It can be anything you want it to be, just write from the heart and have faith in yourself.’

‘So, do I write about my shitty life?’ Abigail asked

‘Abi, you live in unfortunate circumstances, you have a shitty mum and it might seem like your opportunities are limited, but I think, you can’t see the forest for all the trees. Underneath the shit Abi, I believe lies a person who has extraordinary potential and doesn’t know it. This notebook will help you take yourself back. There is only one rule,’ Mrs Valamanesh opened the cover and pointed out the first ‘note to self’ she penned earlier...


Note to self –

Write to self, read self, hear self and then self and I will be on the same page.


‘Abi, when you are in your darkest hour, when silence is the loudest noise you’ll make, the only person listening will be you. Write in your notebook often and read it more often.’

They both hugged.

‘Fucking Leso’s. Get ya bloody hands off my girl! That shits contagious. Ya want a fucking piece of me?’ shouted Abigail’s mum from across the road, signalling erotically to her crouch with trousers soaked in urine.

‘Oh god, I’m sorry.’ Said Abigail

‘Like I said, it’s not your apology to make.’

Heading towards to the house, her mum continued her rant, ‘You’re a fuck’n leso now huh, what ya say about that, huh? Not so smart now are ya. Fuck’n Leso.’ As she threw an empty vodka bottle on the concrete beside Abigail’s feet. It smashed everywhere; small shards of glass splintered Abigail’s ankles. The pain ran up her legs, she did not let it show and headed straight for her bedroom, locking the door.

After plucking the glass out piece by piece, Abigail reached for her notebook and began to write…


Note to self –

I love fresh crisp morning air – it makes me feel alive.

Today, someone cared about me – this felt good.

I love watching butterflies through my window, they are free.

I love dogs too. All dogs – I wish I had a dog to keep me company. One day, I will get a dog.

I especially love roses. My favourite is ‘Just Joey,’ my Grandma used to have them in her garden.

Grandma loved me very much, she told me I was special and one of a kind.

I love sleeping in a freshly made bed, its better than heaven.


Abigail’s mum was bashing on her bedroom door, ‘let me in you little leso,’ it went on and on until Abigail fell asleep on her notebook.

Waking up to the sound of birds chirping in the tree outside her window, Abigail quickly reached for her pen and notebook.


Note to self –

I love birds. Their chirp sounds happy and bright.

One day I want to fly a plane and pretend to be a bird or a butterfly and travel to and from my favourite places.

The birds are colourful, I love colours. They make me want to paint a picture.

Yellow is my favourite colour.

I want to play music like the birds, I’d like to learn to play the piano.


Abigail finds her mum passed out in the doorway in a puddle of puke. Collecting the mop from outside, her bare feet enjoy the cool grass.


Note to self –

Bare feet on grass feels incredible.

I love nature, one day I want to walk barefoot in a rainforest, and on the beach and in the mud. It connects me to nature. I feel alive.


In the back corner of the yard is a small lemon tree, Abigail spies a ripe lemon and picks it. After tiding up her mum’s mess, she decided to make herself pancakes with lemon and sugar.


Note to self –

I love cooking, I’m a good cook.

I love fresh fruit and vegetables, one day I will grow my own in a garden.

I most love Italian food. I want to travel to Italy and eat all their food. Especially pizza and pasta.


Her mum wakes from her slumber, snatches Abigail’s phone from her hand and leaves the house without a word, still in her urine and puke-soaked clothes. Returning a couple of hours later, her mum is sozzled and has a bottle of rum in hand, no phone. In a few short hours, the bottle of rum is consumed.

Abigail shuts herself away in her room, and writes...


Note to self –

I love to write and I love this notebook. It makes me feel safe and strong.

I love to sing and dance. I will miss the music on my phone.

Classical music is my favourite. Listening to it helps me escape this madness.

I am strong to put up with mum. I need to use my strength better.


Unable to concentrate with heavy metal music her mum is playing, Abigail decides to go for a run, sneaking out unnoticed.


Note to self –

Running clears my head – I love running. I’m good at running.

I could run for miles. When I am running, I’m free. Running reminds me of winning races at school.

I loved school and loved to read. I love fairy tales, magical creatures and mystical worlds. I want to read more.

I love helping people – One day I will volunteer and help people and dogs. I don’t love helping mum.


Returning home, Abigail finds her mum on a rampage with a cricket bat to the house. There are holes in the walls, doors are knocked of hinges and her mum has defecated all over the floor in her bedroom.

‘Ya see that shit, that’s what ya fucking get. You and ya little fucking notebook, you think ya smarter than me, don’t ya?’ Yelled Abigail’s mum, picking a fight.

‘I don’t want to fight mum, please calm down.’ Replied Abigail.

In that moment, Abigail’s mum lined her up with the cricket bat. She swung. The bat hit Abigail hard on her left thigh, it hurt so bad, but she did not let it show. Her mum collapsed to the ground, too drunk to stand up. Abigail opened her notebook and read every word. Then she took the pen and wrote…


Note to self –

I’m better than this.

I’m listening.

Find your strength Abigail.

You can do this.

It’s time to go!


Abigail packed a small bag and left with her note book in hand only to be met by a worried Mrs Valamanesh in the front yard.

‘Abigail, I heard the banging, are you ok?’ asked Mrs Valamanesh.

‘I’m fine,’ Abigail replied, adding, ‘I’m leaving this place. You helped me see it’s time to go. Thank you for helping me find myself and find the strength I didn’t know I had.’ As she clutched the notebook like her prized possession.

‘You deserve better Abi. This will help you make a fresh start,’ said Mrs Valamanesh, handing her a small white envelope.

Abigail took the envelope and hugged Mrs Valamanesh goodbye.

Heading to the city, Abigail sat waiting at a bus stop. Taking the envelope in her hand, she opened it to find a small hand written note...


Note to Self –

Always put yourself first. Only you can make the impossible possible.


Behind the small note, was a cheque for twenty thousand dollars.

The end.

Sally Lynch
Sally Lynch
Read next: The Deception of Instagram
Sally Lynch

I’m a typical, everyday kind of person who appreciates the little things in life. I love reading and I especially love writing.

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