Gaining the knowledge of where the food that I eat, the water that I drink, and only putting ingredients in or on my body that are simple and pure is a lifestyle choice that I had been lacking prior to getting IC. Giving up preservatives, refined sugar, fast food and alcohol seem like minor steps to take to prevent IC flareups and to improve my overall health. I have made peace with giving all of these things up because along with the pain of IC, time is the great teacher.
Almost more difficult than following the IC diet and educating myself about IC was the realization that toxic relationships which caused stress and heartache had to be given up in order to begin the healing process. Friends, family members and even the relationship with my significant other were measured and weighted against how being tied to them affected my IC. The naysayers, the unbelieving and the negative people with their own chronic pain had to be gently removed from my life so that I could focus on my healing. That is not to say that after my recovery I did not reach back out again to try again for a relationship, but this time the terms are different, and some friends or family are not given a second chance.
Some would deem this selfish but I realize that I cannot help others if my health is shattered or I am surrounded by negative people. Observe the people in your life and the difference being around those people have with your IC symptoms and pain-it might be time to make some subtle changes. It is not easy-like everything involved with living with IC, but at least you will begin to feel more in control of the situation around you.