Pre-ABI vs. Post-ABI: The differences

According to Ellen Modin a few years can change everything. She describes the differences that can be found between someone in their early 20’s compared to those ebbing towards the 30’s. As a 25 year old (ebbing towards her 30’s) I can wholly comprehend these differences she describes.

Early 20’s vs. Late 20’s: The differences


It got me to thinking, not only does ‘growing up’ create a shift in attitude, having a brain injury can also change how we perceive things.

Therefore, I compiled my own list. Twenty differences between before having an Acquired Brain Injury and after.

Pre-ABI vs. Post-ABI: The differences

1. Drinking

Pre – sambuca Queen, shot, shot, shot!

Post – occasional glass of bubbly on a very special occasion


2. Drugs

Pre – everyone should try everything once but not turn out like the ones in Train Spotting

Post – an endless list of medication to take every day


3. Steroids

Pre – what that cyclist took to win the Tour de France

Post – what I have to take to keep me alive, and I have since realised have the most horrendous side effects – moon face comes to mind


4. Hunger

Pre – …Games! Or getting the munchies after a night out

Post – one of the many side effects of my medication


5. Dancing

Pre – on the tables, falling off and breaking my ankle

Post – awkwardly in the corner at a wedding when I absolutely have to


6. Hospitals

Pre – where old people go to die

Post – where I spend the majority of my time


7. Dating

Pre – being chatted up at a bar and asked for my number on Saturday nights out in da club

Post – undateable


 8. Parents

Pre – constantly telling me what to do

Post – constantly doing everything for me


9. Sisters

Pre – the ones who can annoy me more than anyone

Post – my best friends


10. Family

Pre – people I don’t really know that I occasionally see at family gatherings

Post – my most important support network


11. Home

Pre – wherever I rest my head

Post – Pengersek


 12. Friends

Pre – making and breaking friendships all over the place

Post – childhood friendships are the only ones that last


13. Social media

Pre – to post selifes

Post – to post about encephalitis and the occasional selfie


 14. Work

Pre – 9 to 5 what a way to make a living

Post – volunteering for as many hours a week as I possibly can


15. Hair

Pre – every colour imaginable, from blonde to red to pink to black

Post – au naturel


 16. Bedtime

Pre – what bedtime?

Post – after taking all my sleeping tablets, 9pm sharp. lights out


 17. Fatigue

Pre – hangover after partying all night

Post – staying in bed for days on end after slight excursion, c-a-n-n-o-t move


 18. Housework

Pre – occasionally tidy my room

Post – everything must be in exactly the right place, OCD styley!


 19. Brain

Pre – some matter in your head that does some stuff

Post– the most important organ in your body, the control center of everything


 20. Me

Pre – outgoing, confident, full of life

Post – nervous, lacking in confidence but still full of life


I put together some pictures, see if you can work out which are pre-ABI and which are post-ABI…

pre shots drugs moon face always hungry pre-abi-dance plasma exchange pre abi dating parents sisters family abi post home old friends selife post volunteering hair up all night

So, there you have it. Life before and after a brain injury broken down into twenty parts.


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