I have been feeling overwhelmingly guilty for the past two years o'r so, the reason being that I feel that I have abandoned my friend who is also my second cousin.
We had been close since we were kids, and throughout school(we are both the same age, 25) When we left school at 16 (the leaving age here in Uk) I went to college, but he had no intention of ever doing anything apart from being on benefits, while I have worked since I was 19. Now at 25 he still hasn't worked a day since leaving school! I tried my best to persuade him to come to work in the same place as me but he didn't want to.
I used to visit him atleast once a week, because he never goes out of the house, but gradually I visited him less and less often. I haven't even seen him now since Christmas two years ago, and he only lives a 5 minute walk away!
To be honest, I feel that we have not much in common anymore. I know this sounds bad but I actually started to dread visiting him, because he had become bitter towards everyone, and I felt it was having a negative effect on me, and my outlook on life.
As life goes on people grow apart. I have a friend that I was very close to growing up. We lead two completely different lives and have a few things in common. We didn't intentionally mean that to happen, but it life. We still stay in contact and catch up each other. Do you still keep in contact with each other at all?
Therag, I think stuff like this needs to be looked at with eye toward balance. He needs to change his own behavior. It is great if you can be a support for him and give him encouragement, etc., but if it starts to drag you down you cannot continue. It's like the mother bird and her babies. If a snake is coming to eat them the mother bird cannot risk her own life to save them because this would be useless because the babies would die without their mother.
I would not feel guilty, as I have an idea of what you feel. But I am kind of worried about your friend. Something is wrong with him if he is withdrawing from everyone. I offer no advice as to what to do, just concern for him is all.