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Experiences & Journeys

Alternative Alternative Lifestyle

By: Ys'Rayl

I'm the kind of person that you might label, "eccentric". I'm always lost in my own thoughts, thinking about what is or may be. And as a teen, I've often wondered if this is just a phase, if it will pass, if I'm just deluding myself, if I'm sending my life into a death spiral with this endeavor.

But the answer has always been, undeniably, no.

It all started about four years ago. I became heavily involved in the furry community, not fully understanding what it was until a year later, and not consciously identifying as one until much later. I usually used canine types wherever I was, for reasons unknown to anything but my subconscious.

However, I couldn't possibly be described as a therian until a year and a half ago. I became extremely attached to a particular avatar I used, an anthro wolf. Unconsciously, I changed my other avatars in some ways to be similar. It wasn't until I thought my own actions that I determined why. I don't remember the exact conclusions that I came to, but it meant that my life would never be the same.

As I thought about this, I began to search for patterns in my own life that may have shown the roots of my therianthropy. Aside from a sense that I didn't belong anywhere I was, I couldn't detect anything vaguely wolfy about me until that time. In fact, not only was I not lupine, but as a child I would often meow, imitating our pet Dante. Quite the opposite.

That was when I also first began the practice of psi, later describing myself as a renegade of the practice in that I hardly communicated with any other practitioners and instead discovered, or tried to discover, truth for myself. It later evolved into a staple of my life, so much so that now I simply can't imagine living without it.

However, at the time previously described, I concluded that since I was, at soul level, a wolf, my body must be changing to reflect that. After all, such conflict couldn't exist, or so I thought.

From that point on, I began to experience pain. It began, in the first few months, as a slightly annoying itch or jab of pain, obviously in the areas that an anthro wolf's profile does not fit a human's. The areas where my ears would be became sensitive, and during intense shifts I would actually have no idea what the lumps of flesh were on the sides of my head. My body felt alien to even myself when I shifted.

However, as time wore on, I began to grow increasingly frustrated with the ever-rising levels of pain and shifts I would experience. I began to experience life in two mindsets. When I talked to other people, or was out in public, I would be entirely human. Yet, if someone referenced to anything even vaguely lupine, I would feel a gut-wrenching shockwave of pain throughout my body and an explosively violent urge to hurt whoever said it, afterwards remaining in 'wolf mode' until I talked to someone or remained in public for a while. Many times I've had to restrain myself, exercising an enormous amount of self-control. I would also enter a shift, though not nearly as painfully, if I was alone for a while.

Even if nobody said a word, I would feel my growing pains, sometimes in one part, sometimes in a few, though rarely in all of them at once.

And this simply got worse with each passing day, sometimes forcing me to bear paralyzing agony as, for example, my tail desperately tried to take shape. And this had to be without making any noises, aside from the occasional yelp when I was alone.

Aside from the pain, I still had the same attachment to wolves. I tried not to show it publicly, not to give out any hint that anything was different about me. It was, and still is, a somewhat lonely lifestyle.

Through it all, I never experienced any other classic shifts, never having any dreams except one where I was my true self. It made me question everything I had done so far. In my daydreaming sessions, the main question was, "Is this real?" Always, I came back with the answer, "Of course."

Then, within a week of one year after it began, the pain suddenly stopped. I literally went to sleep in pain, and woke up the next day feeling nothing. I could also hear references made to my true nature without trying to literally bite their head off, a stunning development after a lifestyle of restraint.

A trusted friend of mine collaborated with me on the reason for this, and we both figured out that prior to my sudden release from such gnawing pain, I had had a split mind and soul. One half was lupine, and the other human. As the lupine mind grew, it began to conflict with my human mind, causing pain and causing me to misdirect my anger at whoever had triggered it. It continued, causing more conflict as it progressed thoughout the months previous to that night. Finally, one could say the bubble burst. The lupine mind became the dominant one, though I'm not entirely sure what happened to the human mind.

Since then, I've continued to experience my growing pains, though they aren't nearly as bad as they were. A new problem quickly presented itself, though, a craving for lupine stimulation. It left me with, to be cliched, a hole in my heart. I felt almost constantly that something integral wasn't there, that I needed to be what I truly was. It didn't make sense, really. I was already in a constant mental and semi-constant phantom shift, why did I need this reassurance?

Near the beginning of July, another of my friends, sympathizing with my plight, recommended a technique to make the cravings stop. The method was basically to assert my inner wolf, through whatever means possible.

From that point on, I've been able to say that my life finally has some peace in it. It's been a long, grueling road to get here, and I intend to stay on all the way. Whether it will lead me to inner peace, or finally becoming what my soul aches for, I can't say. But it's certainly an adventure every day.

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