e.a.isaksen (Ellen) was born on Staten Island in New York City. She has been challenged with a severe anxiety and panic disorder which resulted in becoming agoraphobic at the age of thirteen. She spent much of her life undiagnosed and therefore had to find the courage to cope with her disorder without the benefit of proper interventions. She managed to complete her college education and got her Associates Degree from Staten Island Community College and later got her Bachelor’s Degree from Richmond College, also on Staten Island. After receiving her college degrees she became employed by the Willowbrook Developmental Center for the developmentally disabled where she worked as a Psychiatric Social Worker for about ten years. She was later transferred to Gowanda Psychiatric Center in Gowanda New York.
In her mid thirties, Ellen moved to Florida where she worked briefly as an addictions counselor at an in-patient cocaine rehabilitation center. Shortly thereafter she decided to leave her profession to develop her creative skills and an entirely new world opened up for her. She became a web page designer and also began writing poetry and has many pieces of poetry published in various anthologies. She developed a supportive web site for agoraphobics several years ago and was eventually discovered by playwrights and a screen writer and was asked to consult on two plays and one movie that involved an agoraphobic character. She is the recipient of the Prometheus 2000 "The Muse of Fire" Poetry Award and also received a Certificate of Achievement in June 2000 for a poem published in "The American Poetry Annual." She has received several other certificates of achievement for poetry.
Today Ellen is living happily in Central Florida as a writer who also maintains a small home-based business doing custom design and printing. She shares her life with her two dogs and her parrot, Graycie. At the time of this writing she is basically homebound, but continues to live a full and productive life. Her inspirational book, Behind These Eyes: One Agoraphobic's Journey To A Meaningful Life is about overcoming life’s obstacles. It was enthusiastically written in the hopes that others who have limitations of any kind may come to realize that a robust and happy life can be obtained no matter how far one can or cannot move out of their physical or emotional comfort zone. It’s about being willing to continually put one foot in front of the other to see where it takes you. It’s about never giving up because at any moment a whole new world can be just around the corner. It’s about “Crying and washing the dishes anyway.”
Where to find Ellen Isaksen online
Behind These Eyes: One Agoraphobic's Journey To A Meaningful Life
by Ellen Isaksen
The author takes us with her on her journey through a non-traditional life filled with adventure, pain and life affirming experiences. She suffers from a severe form of agoraphobia that does not keep her out of the game of life. While her story may not have the end we anticipate in a book about overcoming a disability, overcoming a disability is what she has achieved. We can all learn from her!
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