My story

is about healing and a lifetime, research project of my true nature.

I was born in a rural post-communist Poland and grew up in a small, sleepy town with a terribly long name, Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski. I spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ farm with animals and in nearby forests, fields, meadows.

Already as a small girl, I learned that nature - our the earth is the first mother that gives us all we need. I knew how to listen to animals and plants. I discovered where food grows and how it lands on my plate. I was naturally creative, open, and passionate.

I grew up in a very unsettled time of 80s-90s. Poland had a long history of trauma from invasions, first and second world war, communism. The country was transforming after regained independence, going towards capitalist democracy. These changes had a profound emotional effect on the system and people around me and of course on my family.

I was brought up to be a helper and a soother for loved ones. I became like a thermometer figuring out people’s emotions and their state of wellbeing. I was trying hard to be a “good girl” to be helpful for others but never learnt to be good for myself. I learnt that I can be loved by fulfilling my parents and teachers expectations. The fragile “Kasia” ego was born. As the demands of everyday life grew I kept losing the pieces of my true self. I experienced emotional and bodily problems: anxiety and tension.

In the later life with even more challenges of teenage time, the anxiety developed into lack of self-love, guilt, shame and blame. I started to experience a feeling of my body as being foreign - it felt like the world and myself is not real. Finally, as I reached my 20s I developed recurrent depressions.

At the age of 26 I left Poland - now I know it was an unconscious drive to find myself. I became a cultural hybrid. From the deep Polish countryside, I moved to study into the big metropolitan city of Warsaw and then into the multi-international Cambridge, UK. This was a total life changer and gate into what I am now. I lived and worked for the best research organisations in California and in Paris. Moving between various cultures I formed perspectives and understanding that whatever we do and whoever we are is a miracle. A miracle is something that we do not fully comprehend but what connects us with this “something” out there. I want to understand and experience what this something is.

Five years ago I came to an incredibly beautiful, organised, safe and wealthy Switzerland. Life was good: I was more than eight years abroad, living with my boyfriend in a nice flat, earnt a good salary. I was westernised. I was fully embedded in the scientific environment and believed that what we can measure and describe is the one and only reality.

As I approached my middle 30s, the so-called “middle life crisis” hit me with full power. The realisation of how I should be and I am not, feeling of losing time, lack of meaning, boredom, the crisis in the relationship, problems at work - all just exploded. Programs of survival turned on, and they were running full speed! My body was screaming in my pelvis and belly - wait, stop, slow down, take care of me. I kept going, and I did not stop until I had to. I moved into a depression-like no other before with strong suicidal thoughts. Every trauma I accumulated in the past 35 years of my life just opened up. I felt like one big open wound.

I did not sleep, couldn’t eat, talk, play, work without the dramatic, intrusive thought - I can’t live any longer. But I wanted to - this was the only thing I knew I wanted to be healthy, happy, and calm.  I tried everything possible that was available in advanced medical care - psychiatric clinics, medication, psychotherapy. It helped to literally save my life in the acute phase of depression. I introduced further holistic approaches into my process- family, partners, friends, mentors, yoga teachers, bodyworkers, animals and plants, mountains, and rivers...and I am very grateful for every mentor I met on my way.

Conventional and integrative medicine is a perfect match in the healing process, just like yin and yang.

What changed is that I look at these difficulties as an opportunity to grow and to deepen my understanding of my inner and outer space. Every moment, relationship, the challenge is a rich source of experience that simply is precious.

My story is like many other stories you have heard. My story has a happy neverending - I am living a truly fulfilling, purposeful life and have truly deep, loving relationships. I have all I dreamt of and see the bright amazing future ahead. I am not afraid. This does not mean that I have no difficult emotions and I do not suffer. I do.

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Zürich, Switzerland

Contact

Dr Kasia Kopanska​​

e-mail: hello@kasiakopanska.com

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