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How ‘Matilda the Musical’ Inspired Me in My Fight With OCD and Depression

I recently finished a community theater production of “Matilda the Musical.” Saying “Matilda” is special show to me is an understatement.

I first saw “Matilda” in 2014 on Broadway, when I was deep in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and depression. I had just been diagnosed and was starting treatment. Still, the show was magical. I came in loving the music, having listened to it in my dorm room, and I left loving the show even more. I saw the show again in 2015 on tour in Houston. I was there in residential treatment for OCD. My therapist helped organize that when my mom visited, I could leave for the evening to see the show. Again, I was lost in my head, but I loved the show.

For years, the songs and message stayed with me. I watched every YouTube video of television performances. I learned some of the choreography. I even had someone custom sew a Matilda replica dress for my American Girl Dolls I still collect. In 2019, at the Annual OCD Conference, I met Mara Wilson, the actress who played Matilda in the movie. She has OCD and was the keynote speaker, at my suggestion.

It was a meaningful moment then when in 2020 my local community theater announced “Matilda” for the next season. I cried with joy. And then COVID hit. The season was postponed for who knows how long. I was worried we wouldn’t keep the show on the roster or wouldn’t be able to do it. Finally, in 2022, they held auditions for “Matilda,” and I was cast as the Acrobat and in the ensemble. It was a dream role in a dream show.

Performing this musical is a full circle moment because now I am in recovery. Because of therapy and medication and social support, I am doing so much better now, with both OCD and depression. I am living my life to the fullest, as

joy Fighting Dreams

Mara Wilson

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