Recovery from major trauma, pain, or loss is a big achievement. It's difficult and takes time.
It's not uncommon that some degree of change is a part of that process ~ whether it's a change in our circumstances or a change in how we feel about our lives. The change can be profound. We might feel more in touch with our authentic sense of self. Or experience a shift in our values and a change in the direction we want our lives to go.
Research in the field of psychology indicates that some people experience a significant personal growth as a result of major negative events. It's known as post-traumatic growth (PTG) and defined as 'a positive psychological change experienced as a result of the struggle with highly challenging life circumstances'.
PTG tends to surprise people, and is not usually a conscious aim. It results from a fundamental change in the way we see ourselves and or the world. A significant amount of research in recent years has focused on the factors that characterise this kind of personal growth. They include:
Finding benefit in adversity is common and often transient ~ a mechanism to cope with the event. Whereas PTG requires active processing of the meaning of the change and time to identify, set and make progress towards new goals. Often PTG results in a change in our identity and behaviour and other people notice a change in you.
The research doesn't suggest there's anything inherently good about a trauma or painful loss - of course there isn't. But what the research does show is that when events happen that force us to stop, to step out of our day to day lives and to confront issues we might not usually have to, it is possible for some good to come from the struggle.
Learning resource: Action for Happiness https://www.actionforhappiness.org