Facing Fear: One agoraphobic’s journey to reclaiming her life

3 Nov

By Christi Morales, shades Magazine

Eve Lynne, creator of Ella B. Jenkins

It’s been a long journey for Oakland, California-based artist Eve Lynne. But thanks in part to a spunky, bright-eyed African-American child named Ella B. Jenkins, she is finally at a place in life where things are coming together.

Lynne created the charming 7-year- old Ella character with chocolate skin tone and Afro puffs not just to be cute, but to have her serve as a positive role model for African-American youth whom she says lack figures they can directly relate to in popular culture.

“[Ella] is not interested in hair weaves or perms,” said Lynne. “She’s comfortable with who she is and I think that’s the message – be comfortable with who you are and what you were given.”

With her recently launched Ella B. Jenkins website, people are not only buying the Ella line of products, but they also want to know more about the artist behind it all. Ella may seem like just a character to the outside world, but she’s been an instrumental force that’s opened doors of opportunity for Lynne, while helping her heal from an illness she has dealt with most of her adult life.

The illness Lynne has is agoraphobia – an anxiety disorder characterized by a fear of being outdoors especially in crowded areas or busy public spaces. Agoraphobics are afraid of having a panic attack in such places and often avoid going to areas that they perceive to be unsafe or far from help. Some find themselves unable to leave home for long periods of time or even stay housebound for years.

While she has struggled to get back on track, she said she hopes sharing her story will encourage others with anxiety disorders like agoraphobia to seek help and shed light on this illness that she says is still very misunderstood and often goes undiagnosed.

Read more …


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