Bridgette C. Kent wrote the beginning of Fallen Angel Rising while going through darker days than she had ever imagined possible. As she wrote, she often felt no hope of overcoming the obstacles being thrown in her path. As she struggled with severe depression, stigma, chronic illness, loss of mobility, the loss of her home and more, Bridgette didn't know if she would ever find her way out.
Having been blessed with "the perfect family," and what many considered "the perfect life," Bridgette seemed to have it all. To those who knew her, Bridgette was a bubbly, outgoing overachiever. She began performing in water-ski shows at six years-old, won her first water-ski championship at 11, played many school sports, and stared in her high school theater and musical productions. Bridgette went on to excel in a number of different careers never stopping long enough for doubt to sneak in. The one place she didn’t excel was relationships, but that didn’t bother her all that much.
In 2008, at 37 years-old, Bridgette seemed to have it all. Having been divorced for 9 years, she was now a fit firefighter and EMT, driving her dream car, living in what she called her “Fairytale Cottage,” and she had just started what she thought was the “perfect job” for her. She was a 911 dispatcher. With an active social life, Bridgette wasn’t worried about finding “the one.” She was too busy enjoying what she had. Then, the train began to derail.
Bridgette spent much of 2008 trying to ignore the signs of clinical depression. As an EMT, she’d always been judgmental of those with mental illness. She was sure there was another explanation for her sudden need to sleep all the time. It had to be the new work schedule. As time went on, Bridgette became even more frustrated with herself. Why couldn’t she get more done? Why did she feel sad? Why couldn’t she just “change her thoughts,” as she’d always suggested others do? She began to pile self-loathing and judgment onto her already damaged psyche. Late in the year, Bridgette sought out a psychologist, and finally started on anti-depressants. It was too little too late. On December 7, 2008, Bridgette attempted to end her life. She would have succeeded if not for the miracle known as “Mother’s Intuition.”
For the next few years, life would only get harder. After her attempt, Bridgette battled the stigma of that suicide attempt, was harassed out of her job, diagnosed with a chronic illness, became home-bound, and lost her “Fairytale Cottage.” Forced to move in with her brother, Bridgette saw no hope for a future.
After living with her brother for just a few months, Bridgette realized that she no longer wanted to live as a victim. She remembered some books she’d read years earlier by Dr. Wayne Dyer, Alan Cohen and others. These books all taught a principle called the Law of Attraction. Knowing the power of these teachings, Bridgette picked them up again. As Bridgette began to heal, she reflected on the things she’d written during her dark days, and decided to keep writing. Fallen Angel Rising began to emerge, so did Bridgette. The writing had served to show her the past in ways she’d never seen before. She identified patterns and beliefs that she’d never been consciously aware of, and began to heal. As we heal our past and our inside, the outside healing begins as well.
Today, Bridgette is no longer home-bound. She walks without a cane, and leads a full and active life as an author and motivational speaker. She is a member of two Toastmasters International Clubs, works with the National Speakers Association, is a member of the Wisconsin Council on Mental Illness, and advocates for those with both mental illness and chronic illness. Bridgette is living proof that all things can be overcome. There is no adversity that is greater that our own desire to give back.