The Time I Whored Myself for Cash. I MEAN....Helped Out the Scientific Community. It was All for Science. The Money Was Just a Bonus.

As most freshmen in college can probably relate, cash is a necessity, and in limited supply.  (unless you're a trust fund baby or your parents pay for all the things, then I fucking hate you, you spoiled brat.)

In 1997 I found myself in the cash-strapped college freshman boat, and I needed some money pronto.  YES, I was working part-time.  YES, my parents helped a little when they could.  But going out drinking and then hitting the street food vendors multiple nights a week gets expensive.  I needed some moo-la.

One day as I waited for the dorm elevator, I noticed a flyer searching for volunteers for a study.  The only requirements were: you must be directly related to a family member with diagnosed depression and anxiety disorder but you yourself must not be.  You must be willing to give some blood and take long surveys.  You must be willing to come back for a follow up.  Visit #1 determined eligibility and began the surveys and tests.  Visit #2 was a simple follow up with more surveys and tests.  Each visit paid $75.  For a TOTAL of 2-3 hours. 

My thought process upon reading this?  HMM.  Cash.  Easy cash.  I come from a long line of crazy, I mean, anxiety and depression (mom, sister, grandparents, etc.).  I'm awesome and fine and happy.  Cash.  Easy.  $150.  Sign me the fuck up.

So I signed up and showed up and after an interview and thorough medical history, they said I fit the study.  Then they took some of my blood.  They were wanting to see if there was a way to identify some sort of marker or gene or something in me that kept me "safe" from the family history of depression and anxiety.  The made me fill out PAGES and PAGES of questions.  Then I had to sit and breath carbon dioxide to see if they could induce a panic attack. They couldn't.  I got my $75 and left.

Pitchers of beer on me if my fake ID works tonight bitches! 

Sidenote: I believe they even contacted some of my family members to see if they'd participate.  I don't think anyone did.  Clearly they don't love the money like I do. I mean, clearly they don't care about science and saving all of mankind like I do.

I don't remember much of the follow up, just that I got more money.  Score.

A few years later I remember thinking for a brief moment, those sonofabitches have my DNA somewhere. They'd better not do anything unethical with it.  Unless they wanna clone me.  Two of me would be goddamn AMAZING.

THEN, an even MORE few years later, I started battling anxiety.  Big time.  Panic attacks and severe hypochondria.  Which depressed me.

THEN, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, which made my depression and anxiety go off the charts.  Surprisingly, it helped calm down my hypochondria for a bit.  It was like all my worries of something being horribly wrong with me were true and here it was so I can finally relax a little now.  Not that THAT lasted long.

The story all comes full circle like this: 
A. I quickly blew through the $150.  On inappropriate things like beer and birth control.
B. Random scientists have my DNA in a search for a generalized anxiety disorder gene but it's WORTHLESS cuz 19 year old me was fine but 30 year old me is a fucking wreck so the study is practically invalid.
C. There's still no clone of me.
D.  I'm a money whore and I'm not ashamed to admit it.
E.  I also love Cheetos.  It has nothing to do with this post but my GAWD I can't stop thinking about them.

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