I wonder where you got THAT exercise from! LOL! (Thriving As An Empath for those people not in on the joke - correct me if I am wrong, Secret Blossom)
My own take is that being an empath is not a destination in itself but just a signpost on the road to becoming a healer (if even that is a "destination").
You are not hallucinating or going crazy. You are simply accepting a new reality for yourself which most of Western "civilization" has been denying for centuries. Congratulations.
Oh yes, and like many people on this site, I do all of my work remotely. Distance doesn't make any difference for this work Not knowing where they are doesn't make any difference for this work. Sounds like you ARE a natural!