IC is like fall in that you feel caught between two worlds: the one in which you were healthy and vibrant and the other world where it feels like winter has permanently encapsulated you in its cold embrace. And then there is the similarity of IC to the definition of fall: to pass into a particular state or direction. I can attest to the notion of falling into the pain and circumstance of IC and all of the sadness, darkness and confusion that accompanied my diagnosis. IC was the black hole, the unknown quantifier for my future self, and the fall was a long and oftentimes scary one. I was without my internal compass, hope or direction as wave after wave of depression riddled me almost as helpless as the bladder, vaginal and kidney pain consumed my physical being. It is comparable to the scene of the angel falling from grace in order to become human in the movie "City of Angels" except my fall felt like more of a push than anything that I would have ever chosen for myself.
The pain of IC can strip away the joy and beauty from one's life seemingly overnight like a cool fall evening can cause leaves to hurtle to the ground, making the tree barren and naked. Gone is summer's pretense of sunshine and promise and in its place the knowledge that things are going to getter harder for awhile, the days and evenings colder and more isolating. As you look around you realize it is time to take stock and to store up the people and things and treatments in your life that can bring you through the winter season of IC. Never give up hope that summer will return or that some of the things you let go of during your fall helped to make you a more caring person.