Hello, Colin! I'm sorry to hear about these negative feelings and such. It sounds like a pretty serious inner debate.
Remember, magic(k) isn't just a tool, it is a powerful thing and if abused it can turn on you(many here believe in some form of "what you put out there comes back at you"). Always always be careful.
If you're looking to start working with magic(k) and the arts, which it sounds like you are, then I would start with the basics. They can help relax and guide you. And help you with your problem. Here's some info on all of that:
I would also read this one:
There's plenty of articles and forums on here that can help you decide what to do, not to mention the whole internet at your fingertips.
I would start with the year and a day study. Not casting. Basically, you study all you want for a year, without casting or anything. Of course whatever you do first is always your choice.