I completely understand what you are going through. The ‘transition or die’ concept is very disturbing, and I’m seeing it all over. There are people who go on low-dose hrt to manage their symptoms without rocketing to Planet Female. You need to stop and ask, ‘what is it that makes me dysphoric?’ For me, after accepting that I am transgender, back in September, and talking with my wife about this, it was my hair. Letting my hair grow out made a huge difference, but it was not enough. I started laser, and it was only after realizing that I was not going to get relief from my dysphoria without cross-sex hormones that I started transitioning.
There is some evidence that this does get worse as you get older. Before I knew what transgender meant, before I figured out why I couldn’t look in the mirror, I was going downhill. I was becoming angrier, more disconnected within myself; I felt like I was trapped in my marriage. Starting hrt relieved my symptoms completely, much to my chagrin (I think I hoped it wouldn’t do anything, and that it would be something else).
I understand that you would rather not transition; there are many, many like you who just don’t want this. Take it one step at a time. Figure yourself out first, and don’t let yourself get so wrapped up in the idea of being female that it drives you even further toward transition.