I too am an empath, and a lot of the time when you start to feel like a sponge it can be overwhelming. A good way to deal with it is a decent grounding spell, so it keeps you level headed. You seem to be expiriencing a lot of what I and my friends expirience, and we all consider ourselves, and am considered by others to be empaths. So there is a great chance that you are.
A bit of advice that I was given, and now I'll pass along to you, "Keep yourself grounded, although you have a gift, remember that they aren't always your emotions, and you need to be able to separate what is yours, and what is theirs. Or you might lose yourself."