Yesterday, I had to leave class because of my OCD for the first time in a long, long time. My Imaging Sciences professor didn’t tell us ahead of time that we were going to take a tour of a wet lab on campus. I thought I would be OK if I just didn’t touch anything and kept my distance, but my OCD went crazy when we got to the lab and there were signs everywhere saying “toxic hazardous chemicals used here.”
I stuck with it, though, even after this because I thought, “Well, everyone else is here, I’ll be fine if I just don’t touch anything.” I still started planning an excuse that would get me out of there if need be. It was just too much for me when the lab director opened up a jar of fruit flies that started flying everywhere. My OCD jumped into action even more, making me think of how the flies could land on these toxic chemicals then come over and land on me.
So I used my excuse, told the teacher I had a migraine, and I got out of that lab as fast as I could. I’m a little upset that I had to leave class, but mostly I’m just relieved that I got out of there before a fly landed on me. That would have most likely resulted in hours of ritualizing. Since my summer intensive treatment, I have not needed to ritualize to this extent, and I am glad I avoided having to. I think it’s safe to say I will not be working in a wet lab in my career.