Introduction

We are, all of us, looking for inner peace, for happiness, for love and approval. We are, all of us, on the same spiritual journey. Though our religions may differ and our beliefs may not be exactly the same, to me, it does not matter. In the end, I believe that all paths lead to God. I believe that our spirituality has to do with our soul and our relationship to the Divine. I donít believe our spirituality is measured by what building we go to pray in, whether a church, temple, or mosque, or even whether we choose not to go to a particular building. I donít believe that God cares what specific type of organized religious service we participate in or even whether we choose to participate in one. I believe God loves each one of us the same no matter what religion we choose to follow. And I believe that we can ďfindĒ God and be a spiritual person without ever choosing one specific religion in particular. I believe in all religions. I believe that they are all generally the same thing. They may have different stories and traditions, they may have different symbols and different man made rules, but they are all basically about the same thing. They are all about a higher power. They are all about the source of all life, the source of all goodness. They are all about love. They are all about God. Though some people find their spirituality through organized religion, spirituality itself is not about organized religion. And this book is not about organized religion either.

This book is the story of how I came to awaken spiritually while I was sick with IC and as I was healing from IC. Itís about how I learned to use the fact that the mind, body, and spirit are connected in order to help me heal and how I came to understand the question that I think we all come to ask. Why me? Why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this? If God is up there, why is He allowing all this to happen to me? Why does it seem like He is not hearing my prayers or helping me?

I recognize that the subject of this book is a very touchy one. I think the mind/body/spirit connection is a touchy subject for people with any illness, let alone an illness where you are told that itís ďall in your headĒ for possibly years before being diagnosed. I will do my best not to offend anyone with my personal beliefs as I truly feel respect for each individual no matter where they are on their own spiritual journey, no matter where they are on their own healing journey, or for that matter, no matter where they are in their understanding of Interstitial Cystitis.

I have no way to relate to the invasion of privacy or the expectations of the public that those who are famous in our society must endure, but I can tell you this. Once you write a book, some people expect that you are somehow different from them. For example, I spent nearly all of my time speaking with IC patients on line while I was sick. Shortly after finding an IC support group on line, I ended up becoming a co-leader. I quickly became busy trying to offer support and my own experiences, trying to help other IC patients as much as I could and often gleaning as much information and support as I was trying to share. I was always seen as ďone of themĒ because, of course, I was. And then after my first book was published, I started receiving e-mails and phone calls from people saying things likeÖĒdid you ever cheat on the IC diet or the anti-candida diet?Ē or ďwere you ever afraid you werenít going to get better?Ē, etc. The answer, of course, was a gigantic YES. Of course I did. Iím just like you. I am just an IC patient who was desperate to get better. Maybe I was a little more desperate with severe IC than someone who has a mild case, but still. Still I learned what I learned, figured out what I figured out, and did what I did, what I felt I had to do in order to get better, all of it solely based out of desperation. The desperation to get well and live a life free of pain and discomfort is what was driving me. No different, Iím sure, than you. Iím sure you probably feel that same desperation to get rid of IC and get back to living your life as I did which is Iím sure what has led you to my book(s).

Itís been over two years since I first sat down to write this book. During these past two years, I ended up writing Along the Healing Path instead. After To Wake In Tears, I was swamped with e-mails and phone calls from IC patients looking for more help and information on how to heal from IC using a natural, holistic approach. I knew that needed to come first. So I put this book aside for a time and tried to answer their questions with Along the Healing Path. Iím glad to be back. Iíve wanted to write about the mind/body/spirit connection and healing from IC for a long time now. Actually, Iíve wanted to share some of this information ever since I was writing To Wake In Tears back in 1997-98. In some ways I felt as if I was sharing only part of the story when I wrote To Wake In Tears. I had only touched on and hinted at the spiritual part of my healing. I knew back then that this needed to be a separate book. Not only because there is so much to say on this subject, but also because I wasnít sure everyone would be interested in, or open to, these types of ideas. I realize now that it doesnít matter. I have never written my books for people to agree with me or to try and get on the New York Times bestsellers list. I have written my books to help IC patients find a way out of the suffering, to find their way out of the torture of IC. My first two books were about hope, healing, and empowerment. And this one is no different.

This book is for those of you curious as to how I finished healing after To Wake In Tears, wondering if I did in fact get the rest of the way better as I had hoped, planned, and believed. This book is for those of you wondering if I have any new insights or if I have changed my opinions of what IC is all about and how to heal from it on a physical level. This book, like my first two, is written especially for you, the IC patient. My desire is to again offer you more hope, more understanding, and some more new ideas to help you heal from IC. My desire is to empower you further with even more tools to help you heal. Again I speak openly and candidly as I share with you the rest of my story. I care only that it helps IC patients and refuse to concern myself with what is embarrassing, humiliating or risky for me to say and instead, Iím just going to say it. My desire is to share with you what I know to be true for myself. To share what I know has helped me to heal from this devastating bladder disease that can interfere with every aspect of our life. This book is about how I awakened on a spiritual level throughout my healing on a physical level. It is about how I used the fact that the mind, body, and spirit are connected in order to help me heal from severe IC. I am writing as if you have read my first two books so as not to be completely repetitive and boring. This book picks up where To Wake In Tears left off. I hope you find something helpful in this book that might lead you to the spiritual answers youíve been looking for in regard to your own IC.


 
Awakening
 

Music by Enya

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