The Scorpion's Sting: An Anxiety Parable

I was very young when I was first stung by the Scorpion.

I can still remember it, even though there have been many other "stings" since then.  The scorpion was lying in wait as I went by it.  I saw it lying there motionless, and I curiously touched it.  The Scorpion jumped toward me -- using its tail to deliver its poisonous "venom" into my foot.  Because my foot was tender, the stinger went in very easily.  The pain was so intense that I started to walk with a limp.

As time went by, I ran into another scorpion that stung me on the other foot.  Again, the venom flooded through my body.  After that, it began to happen over and over again........My limp began to worsen from the repeated stings, but eventually I learned to avoid that type of scorpion.

Then, as fate would have it, another type of scorpion came across my path.  It looked different and seemed harmless to me.  But it still was a scorpion.  It delivered its unique, poisonous "venom" into yet another spot on my foot.  My limp became worse as the poison built to an even higher level in my system.

After that sting, a barrage of different types of scorpions crossed my path and stung me.  Some did not even resemble scorpions -- they were disguised in very innocent camouflage.  Some, in fact, appeared to be caring and concerned.

By this time, I was in my late adolescence and was avoiding anything that even resembled a scorpion.  The "venom" in my system was so high that it seemed I was completely incapacitated.  The fear of being stung by the Scorpion was just as bad as its sting.

But sometimes we learn to adapt, survive, and grow stronger through our pain and isolation.  For whatever reason, there was a tiny part of me that braved going across the scorpion’s path.

But this time I had learned some valuable lessons.  This time I wore shoes.  I was no longer walking barefoot through the middle of the scorpion’s domain.

My shoes, however, were thin, and the scorpion’s stinger went right through them and sent even more poison through my bloodstream.  But this time, instead of running away to nurse my wounds, I stepped on the tiny scorpion.

I then decided to buy thicker soled and more durable shoes….Shoes that were resistant to the scorpion’s sting.  With time, the poison from the scorpion’s venom began to dissipate and my wounds callused over.

My limp is not as bad anymore.

Every once in a while, a Scorpion’s stinger makes it through the sole of my new shoes.

But now I have a better perspective on the scorpion: It may have its poisonous "venom", but it is still a small creature, and it CAN be destroyed.

By the way, my Scorpion had one other major difference as well:

It had two legs instead of eight.

Our History and Our Mission

The Anxiety Network began in 1995 due to growing demand from people around the world wanting help in understanding and overcoming their anxiety disorder.  The Anxiety and Stress Clinic and its website, The Anxiety Network, received so much traffic and requests for help that we found ourselves spending the majority of our time in international communication and outreach.  Our in-person anxiety clinic has grown tremendously, and our principal internet tool, The Anxiety Network, has been re-written and re-designed with focus on the major anxiety disorders.  

The Anxiety Network  focuses on three of the major anxiety disorders:  panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder,  and social anxiety disorder.

In 1997, The Social Anxiety Association, a non-profit organization, was formed and has its own website.

The Social Anxiety Institute, the largest site on the internet for information and treatment of social anxiety, has maintained an active website since 1998.  Continuous, ongoing therapy groups have helped hundreds of people overcome social anxiety since 1994.  Major changes in design will be occurring in 2014.

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