I used to be really afraid of people. Not in a way, that I was afraid of rejections. It was fear of being near to much people. The fear wasn’t big enough to stop me from going to school (just to stay in class during free time), but I couldn't be in any crowd whatsoever.
For example, when the bus has become so crowded, that there were people standing, it become bad. I usually got a mild panic attack. As in getting stomachache, headache, my breath quickened and I could feel my pulse inside my body and it was quicker than usual. Much quicker. Sometimes, it got dark in front of my eyes and I started to lose balance.
The only way to make them less intensive, was to sit down. Even then, the symptoms didn’t stop. So every time, I run away from the bus and took a deep breath, happy to get away from there.
Also, any kind of shopping activity during the weekend was impossible. All these people running around and shopping, made me feel the same symptoms, but usually in milder form.
Since I was afraid of people or more specifically, groups of people, even when talked to, I wasn’t a good conversationalist. I was so nervous of the mass of people, that I was normally just be able to answer questions. And other kind of talk was hard.
I also didn’t go out much. Most of my free time was spent in the libraries or inside my room, reading. The side effect of that was, that the circle of my friends was becoming smaller and smaller, until there was no one left.
A classmate of mine once mentioned to me, that other people in the class are to afraid to talk to me.
I needed a couple of more years, but these words came to haunt me. In a way, I was afraid of the same people, that were afraid of me.
Also, getting into the personal development material, I was starting to understand the reasons, why thing where like that.
I started to change. The change had ups and downs, but I can call myself now ‘A healed fearer’.
But still, I don’t regret my years of the solitude. I actually still prefer solitude to the crowds, but I don’t have that fear stopping me from going to where crowds are.
You can also read my story of how I got over my fear.