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TW: Heathers

I’m considering auditioning for a local youth production of Heathers - based on the 80s film. I’m 15, turning 16 in 2 months. However, I just finished receiving treatment for some intrusive thoughts and obsessive compulsive behaviours. These thoughts were around a fear of death. They’re a lot better, but I don’t want to risk sending my mental health into another intense, distressing period (like it was just under a year ago), since Heathers is a much more mature and intense show which tackles the topic of death (albeit, through the form of dark comedy). On the other hand, I might be fine, and doing it could even be beneficial (proving to myself I am able to be exposed to media related to death and not go into an unhealthy thought spiral). Thoughts?

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Re: TW: Heathers

Hm it's up to you @Clementine75, but you're right in thinking exposure could help with your anxiety. I think it's wonderful you're even considering putting yourself out there- auditioning for a production sounds so scary! That being said if you don't do it that's also okay, you don't have to push yourself into things that could be harmful. Perhaps writing up a list of pros and cons may be helpful? Keep us updated if you want!
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Re: TW: Heathers

It sounds like you have thought a bit about this already, which is really great @Clementine75. You make some good points on both sides about it possibly being intense/risky and it being beneficial as you might get some exposure through the activity. I think it really depends on whatever you think you would be most comfortable doing and what you think you are ready to take on. I am wondering if you have had a chance to discuss this with any of your supports yet? They might be able to give you some tips for helping to cope with the thoughts if you do go ahead with the audition Heart
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Re: TW: Heathers

@Sophia-RO @Lost_Space_Explorer5 

Thanks. I’ve talked a little bit to my mum about it, but I might try and do that a bit more. I’ve found that I’ve got so caught up in worrying if it’ll set off my anxiety, that I’m not able to think about it clearly.

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Re: TW: Heathers

Hey @Clementine75 thats good you were able to chat to your mum about it, did she have any thoughts around what you could do?

I think its so great you are being so insightful and reflective about what your involvement in this production might mean for your mental health and that you want to put your wellbeing first. I understand that this has meant though that you've gotten caught up worrying about it, when do you have to decide about the audition?

Heathers is a pretty intense story, so I understand your concerns. Could you maybe put a bit of a plan in place to look after yourself while in production? i.e. when you get home from rehearsal you have a shower to wash off the day and the content, and you watch a fun tv show. 

It's also totally fair enough if you decide this production isn't for you - there will definitely be other Smiley Very Happy I did theatre at uni and loved it and there were lots of various opportunities to get involved in things (keen to chat theatre with you anytime!)

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Re: TW: Heathers

Auditions are at the beginning of November, so I’ll need to book it fairly soon if I go for it.
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Re: TW: Heathers

Heathers is actually one of my sister's favourite films/musicals @Clementine75. I can understand your concern about it being triggering for you though. Only you can make the decision regarding whether to be involved in the production, but if you do decide to go through with the audition, I wish you the best of luck! It can take a lot of courage to take part in an audition. Smiley Happy
Something I have tried to do recently is make a 'decision aid' template for situations where I can anticipate both pros and cons. There are lots of templates you could use online. You could also make a plan for what to do if you do find yourself being triggered.
I'm not sure if this will help you or apply to your situation, but ReachOut has an article about ways to cope if you've watched something disturbing.

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Re: TW: Heathers

Hey! As both a thespian and someone who suffers from obsessive thoughts, I completely understand what you are going through. Don't be afraid to leave your comfort zone, but make sure that you have a support system in place if you need it. However, if you don't feel up to it or perhaps you don't have a strong enough support base, don't beat yourself up about! There will always be more musicals and more opportunities to overcome your intrusive thoughts! Good luck, you got this! Smiley Happy 

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Re: TW: Heathers

Thanks for all the advice! 🙂 I just submitted my form to book in for an audition. I’m still a little shaky and anxious, but I did it. I messaged some of my friends and chatted a bit to my mum about it and they all thought I could do it and encouraged me to, so I decided to just bite the bullet and send in an application. The least I can do is audition and see what happens. 😁

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Re: TW: Heathers

@Clementine75 I think it's great that you were able to submit your audition and take that shot, despite feeling that anxiety. I hope you can give yourself a pat on the back for taking that step because it takes courage to do that! Smiley Very Happy