At my last GI appt a few weeks ago he thought I should try a heavier maintenance med than Lialda as it was so tough to kick my first flare.
It actually sounds like it was fairly easy to kick your first flare. A few months, one pred taper and only using mesalamines seems like the easiest path to remission. However, it does not sound like you are in remission. Some people flare for years without any relief. I, personally, flared for over 7 months after diagnosis before I felt any better without the aid of prednisone and that itself didn't last long.
Very rarely do I see people, on this site at least, that have had success with just mesalamines. But, I assume they are out there and it worked for them so they never had to seek out more info/help on the internet.
I wish you luck and hope you aren't about
to start flaring again but it sounds like you might. Usually the next course of action is to put you on an immunomodulator like Imuran/6MP. Those take a good 3 or 4 months to start working so you might have another pred taper in you future while you wait for those to kick in.
M, 35, diagnosed January 2015
Asacol HD, 2 pills, 3x daily
Imuran 75mg a day(started mid May at 25mg, have upped to 75 as of September)
Prednisone from January til mid July, finally off it now
Remicade, first infusion 10/6/15