I wasn't able to find a specific sub-forum for spiritually-related life issues and this was the closest that seemed to fit with my case, but feel free to move this topic as you see fit.
Alright, first I'd like to give a little background. I'm a 19-year-old male Catholic who has remained relatively dedicated to his faith since birth. While neither has been clinically diagnosed, I believe that I'm just getting over a two year battle with depression and have also suffered from behaviors that seem to follow those of OCD. While I don't agree with their stance on some issues (abortion, state-legislated gay "marriage") I find that I align closest to the Democratic party.
Now then, for my debacle. Just recently, I began to take a closer look at my faith. While again, I've remained a devout Catholic for the greater portion of my life, I never took the time to look at how closely my life was following church teachings much past the ten commandments. I guess it just comes with age.
What I came to realize was that the relatively happy life I was leading all but contrasted church teachings. It all began when I overheard that masturbation was a sin, which, up until that point, the pleasure of the act made me overlook. Soon after, I got to understand why it was a sin: its addictive nature and the lustful, unrealistic, thoughts that it often produces. Slowly but surely, I somehow managed to stop (extremely hard for a teenager). This led to a storm of "Is X a sin" questions soon-after and consequential amazement and further reform (everything from stem cell research to gay rights to capital punishment).
While I won't deny the fact that, through the time I've spent thinking about and praying to God, I've grown closer to him than ever before, at the same time, it hasn't come without substantial cost. So much of this "reform" has come in contrast to my previous rose-colored ideals that I don't feel much like myself anymore. It's like I've taken the most extreme stance possible on every potentially sinful issue and have created this ultra-conservative ideal, that for me, a liberal, seems impossible to fulfill. It's not that I don't understand what the church is teaching, either, it's just that I'm running into so many "my way or the highway" ultra-conservative Christians that it's all become so hard to understand. Even my heart is telling me that continuing down this path is wrong. I feel like I'm slowly dying, and while I can understand that making the transition from say, a moderate to this position might be do-able, I just can't see myself living through this. It's not that I disagree with the church's stance on the majority of these issues and it's not that I'm putting too much faith in Democratic ideals, it's that I'm becoming a cold, joyless, person because, for all intents and purposes, these people are basically expecting me to become a Republican, lest I go to hell, something I'm positive God did not create me to be. Something inside of me is telling me there has got to be another way; a way to hold to my Christian values without effectively murdering myself.
I'm open to any and all constructive advice you can offer.