Two main aspects of self-realization
Self-realization, enlightenment, the experience of unity, highest refinement, etc. are all terms which talk about the same things in the end. It is more or less equal which term you use. I choose self-realization here to talk about two main aspects of the changes which happen.
Most amazing are those people who believe that there are no changes, no transformation but that it is rather a shift of thinking or self-perception, that they stay the same persons, the same characters that they are used to be.
In fact there are changes, big changes but they are not directly obvious in form of a special physical halo or so. One big step is the flourishing of your heart center which provides wisdom, understanding, all kinds of higher virtues, true, unconditional love, etc. This activation has major influences on the so-called ego. It has a great healing power and integrates this part of your nature with nourishing love and guiding wisdom. And the other aspect is the flourishing of the crown center which is opening your limited existence to eternity, to the absolute. When your crown has opened itself then you are anchored in eternity. A part of you is in creation while another part of you is beyond creation. Eternity is pure being while creation is dynamic change, action. When you are anchored in eternity then all these relative things, needs, wishes, desires become quite questionable. Eternity is all you need. It is so fulfilling. So it could be hard to focus on your life in the material world when your spirit is in a permanent connection to eternity.
This special state has certainly effects on your appearance in public. You may seem to be far away sometimes or maybe not really interested in things. And maybe you appear super personal, impersonal.
In conclusion self-realization opens you to eternity beyond creation and you take part in both “worlds”.
Maybe as an interesting, fascinating fact: You can go on vacations from eternity, from the divine spirit, from God and from unity. When you charge yourself with the earth element (letter AE) then you feel more closed as a form, a unit, more separated as the earth element is the opposite of the eternal spirit.
Maybe this is interesting to know to have an idea where spiritual development leads to.