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Learning to Thrive

The winter solstice marks the longest dark of the year, when the earth tilts away from the sun. Some of us rise before dawn and get home after dark - I am one of those. It is easy to feel tired, and sad. Hope is sometimes an infrequent visitor. Perhaps sleep, isolation, and silence feel like a refuge. It is in these times that it's hard to remember what it feels like on a long, lazy summer afternoon, the sun on your face, the sky a brilliant blue, the sweet smell of cut grass in the air. And yet, the long dark is precisely what makes those bright moments so exquisite.

The mission of the New England Center for OCD and Anxiety (NECOA), which was founded in the winter of 2017, is to provide exceptional, accessible care to individuals and families struggling with OCD and anxiety. We want to help people remember that effective, evidence-based treatment is available, and our Center would like to play a role in bringing these interventions to you - through the provision of quality care, clinician training, measuring outcomes, and conducting clinical research.

We invite you to ask yourself these questions...and to listen for the answers.

What if you could take a small step, in each moment, towards a life you could love?

What if you could begin this right now, in this moment?

What if each small step, however tentative, matters more than you could possibly know?

What if the dark is a temporary, but necessary part of the journey?

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died. And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world Came people singing, dancing, To drive the dark away. They lighted candles in the winter trees; They hung their homes with evergreen; They burned beseeching fires all night long To keep the year alive. And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake They shouted, revelling. Through all the frosty ages you can hear them Echoing behind us – listen! All the long echoes, sing the same delight, This Shortest Day, As promise wakens in the sleeping land: They carol, feast, give thanks, And dearly love their friends, And hope for peace. And now so do we, here, now, This year and every year.

-excerpted poem by Susan Cooper

Welcome, fellow travelers. You are not alone. Walk with us through the dark. May each step bring you towards a life where you will thrive.

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