I've also realized my joy is still fragile. I may have figured out how to be joyful...but maintaining it is still a daily choice. One that I have to work hard at. Some days are harder than others. But no days are easy. So although I am a positive, optimistic, joyful person...it doesn't take much negativity, pessimism, or misery to bring me crashing down.
So I tend to avoid those types of people or debate/fight them if avoidance is impossible.
I wish life, like Facebook, had the 'hide' feature and I could always prep myself before ingesting their poison. That sounds harsh but for me it's true. It's a terrible analogy but it's like any sober person will tell you...the addiction is always right there, underneath the surface. I have to brace myself and prepare my heart and mind, to love these people...to walk back into the bar for them.
It's literally a battle between my love for my friends and family who fit this description, to accept them right where they are, and my sanity. Occasionally I have to speak up to protect myself.
Like I said yesterday, I still have a long way to go. And many more 'fruits' to grow. But I do no good for anyone, especially those that I love that struggle with joy, if I'm joy-less. I'm learning it's actually okay and good/necessary to set boundaries that are loving and respectful in both directions.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23