The friend we leave behind...

One of my oldest friends, since kindergarten, has been struggling for the last couple of years. Now, some of my other friends I've known for just as long have basically cut ties with the guy, leaving me as the sole person that still talks to him (I'm basically his outlet). Long-story-short, he's easily excitable, rants a whole lot about ambiguous or touchy subjects when it's unwarranted, and to top it all off, has recently picked up a heroine addiction (unrelated to his general character, he's been the way he is for a while). I can understand why all my other friends saw him as a burden on their lives, but I'm not the kind of person to cut ties. In fact, part of the reason why my friend has fallen on hard times is probably due in part to people abandoning him when he needed help the most.

I don't think we'll ever stop being friends but I've basically taken a step back. I talk to him when he engages me and I'll make an effort to see him every now and then when it's convenient (I'll invite him to events with other friends I'm already going to or something like that) but, it's hard to see him struggling and knowing that the best I could do for the guy is to just simply be a friend. But, I'm not exactly doing the best job at that either. I've basically become apathetic to our entire relationship in a way. So, I guess what I'm asking is, are my friends right to cut ties or should they have stayed? And, if I'm going to be the way I am about the whole thing, is it better for me to cut ties as well or keep things the way they are?

Da Maniac wants your take on these quandrees too.

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