What is "Awakening?"
The term "awakening" is commonly used in the vampire community as a way to describe the onslaught of symptoms associated with vampirism (see, Vampire Guide 301: General Info for general physical information on vampires). Awakening generally happens between the ages of 17-24 and is different for each person. There is no checklist of signs, nor guaranteed order of events. Some people experience a change in sleep patterns (often times going from sleeping nights to sleeping - or wanting to sleep - days); some people experience a change in eating habits (some people experience a decrease in appetite, others an increase especially in high-iron content food like red meat and nuts, or a change in thirst); some people experience changes in light sensitivity and general sensory awareness (things can suddenly seem too loud, or too bright). As each person is unique, so to is each person's awakening. The largest obvious change is the introduction to the "thirst" or "hunger" which defines a vampire's condition (see "Alone" for a personal look at fighting hunger).
There are several things to keep in mind however. No one online can tell you if you are awakening or not. No one online can tell if you are a vampire or not. Beware of those who claim they can, most likely they are role-players at best, and dangerous internet predators at worst (see "Preventing Tragedy: Safety, the Internet, and Vampires"). It's not that people do not care or do not want to help you understand if you are or are not, it's simply that we do not know you. And, there are many people who are out there who will try to confuse and possibly harm someone in the vulnerable state of mind (whether an awakening vampire or just a changing adolescent), so it's very important to never give out too much personal information to anyone on the net - be it a message board, an email, or a chat. You don't know who the person on the other side is, so be safe.
Also, make sure you read the "Am I a Vampire?" article. It goes into good details on common, confusing and often times conflicting things you may be thinking during this time. Realize that everyone goes through changes in their lives and many times, they are perfectly normal. Don't be afraid to ever see a doctor if you are concerned about your health, or suddenly do not "feel" yourself. It's easy enough to just avoid mentioning the "V-word" - give the doctor your symptoms only. Leave the diagnosing to them. Make sure to insist on blood work to look for things like anemia.
Feel free to read through the site and join the forum to look at other's people's experiences and to learn more. You're welcome to share your personal experiences, however, as I stated before, we can not and will not tell you if you are a vampire. It's not possible for us to know (no matter how many "facts" you give us about yourself), so please keep that in mind. Also, read through the thousands of previous topics because anything worth learning about, is worth reading about and it's worth your time to go through the older topics and archives. Read, read, and read some more.
Keep an open mind either way - it's perfectly ok, if you thought you might be a vampire, but now realize you're not - and allow yourself to be happy with who and what you are. There is no right or wrong way to be. Being a vampire will solve nothing in your life, nor make you a better person. It is fine to be "normal" and you are exactly how you are supposed to be, don't ever think you need to change that by becoming something else. You must learn to love, respect and accept yourself as you are because nothing can make you do so.
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