Getting Past Anxiety: An Inspirational Novel to Reclaim Your Life

Getting Past Anxiety: An Inspirational Novel to Reclaim Your Life

by Melissa A. Woods


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781943164967
Publisher: Melissa A. Woods
Publication date: 06/15/2017
Pages: 231
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Melissa A. Woods is an author, professional speaker and expert on anxiety disorders. For more than 20 years, Melissa's expertise as a licensed massage therapist has given her the mind-body insight necessary to help and heal clients dealing with anxiety. She brings both professional and life experience to bear on her work as an author and speaker, as she reaches out to help a broader audience of anxiety sufferers.

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Getting Past Anxiety: An Inspirational Novel to Reclaim Your Life 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
SDecker More than 1 year ago
this book starts off with an enticing, yet-serious beginning and just keeps going from there as the thread of Stella’s life continues to unravel and gets put back again. I like how as each chapter progresses we are able to see almost a bird’s eye view of each different character as they play their role in her story and recovery. The characters were genuine and believable, and I think what I liked the most about this book was that it really held nothing back in terms of facing head on some emotional barriers and problems many people face, but maybe don’t want to admit it. It shows how we all have the power inside to overcome as long as we are willing to face the issues head on and have some support and guidance from people who might have a different way of approaching mental issues. Mostly clean editing, and decent pacing. Felt like I learned a lot. Recommend.
JesseThomas More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this story and could not put it down, and as I read this book I really began to care about Stella and was eager to see how things would turn out for her with her ‘therapy.’ However, I thought sometimes the narrative went on too long though and would have liked to see more active story progression through direct character dialogue instead of just reading about everything. And sometimes I didn’t feel like we needed to know “everything” about ‘everything”… meaning sometimes I felt there was too ‘insight’ that at times felt repetitive and prolonged narrative monologues, and felt like overall the focus was looser than I like. I prefer to have books have a more distinct arc, and while this one sort of eventually did, it seemed to take some time to become clear what it was. But I did enjoy it for the writing and the different characters and their impact on Stella’s heart and mind, and the fact that it was an entertaining ride that was unlike any I’ve read before. Can certainly see people benefitting from this book as it provides greater awareness and understanding on the subject of anxiety
CJ2277 More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars I thought this book by Melissa A Woods to be very good—decent writing and a compelling, complex and engaging plot set against a believable (enough) background. It is real, yet has a profound, spiritual vibe. I like the fact that it is a fully-realized tale with a great cast of characters, each with their own function and special purpose with regard to Stela’s condition, but without all the bloat that can sometimes weigh down a complex book like this one (especially in a book that falls into the ‘self help’ realm). Woods does a great job keeping Stella’s story moving forward with great character interactions that reveal part of her life and her deep seeded issues, but is also entertaining, charming, and heartwarming (and at times sad). As the story moves forward and you can't help but get sucked into Woods’s strong narrative. Not a typical model of a novel, but one that feels more literary and transcends type. Recommend for fans of literary and spiritual self help fiction
NicolaF More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars Once I started reading I didn’t want to stop until the end. Melissa Woods wastes no time in getting right to the essence of the story – that Stella Maris suffers from anxiety due to an unhappy childhood, and even now years later her life is being negatively affected by it. While this is in essence a self-improvement book, it takes on the form of a ‘fiction novel’ as we experience Stella’s life and her healing processes with her. The characters and subplots (or sections, parts of Stella’s life) were well developed and genuine, and the conversations felt organic but a little thin at times. (Small talk has no place in a novel except in the rarest of circumstances. Here it is rampant). But the dialogue was genuine and real, like how real people talk. The characters were all interesting and well-conceived—imperfect and interesting, insightful and important in their own way. An although there were some parts that I thought kind of dragged, I liked watching it all unfold and seeing how people react to situations that can make their lives better or worse, depending how you view it. The editing was pretty good for the most part – thought the questions at the end that invites the reader to engage with the story was a clever ending. An enlightening, unique experience that was empowering and uplifting and I’d love to read more from Ms. Woods in the future!
JGoldmanJG More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars "Getting Past Anxiety” by Melissa A. Woods is one of the more different, and enlightening, books I’ve read in long time! I was completely engaged from the beginning and could really relate to Stella and her struggles with anxiety. I’ve definitely experienced my fair share in the past as well (although in different ways.) It was interesting to see her therapy with Rachel and have her open up and uncover some secrets and tragedies of her past, and her relationship with her mother, and what other people have done to affect her. And as we slowly became entwined and deeper in Stella’s life and her psyche—the character roles and purposes were revealed. Enjoyed Ms. Woods’ literary ‘voice’ and thought the characters to be really well done. This level of complexity with the various interweaving subplots and cast of interconnected characters from the past and current days could have ended up badly but instead I read the whole thing in one night! While presented in a more unusual fashion, the writing is genuine and authentic, as is the dialogue in a way that truly brings this memorable story to life and impact us as readers (and students, in a way…). A fast read with an empowering message that is also entertaining.
cvasquez More than 1 year ago
what a very cool and unique book! “Getting Past Anxiety” by author Melissa A. Woods is one of the most original and just flat-out interesting and charming novels I’ve read in a while. I’m not sure how to even describe it, as it is a fiction novel, yet doesn’t read like a typical one… more like a ‘real experience’ that a woman (the narrator Stella) has with her therapist Rachel and people from her past (and present) that are part of her life and who help her change and grow. She suffers from anxiety and stress and is interfering with her life, so she begins a personal journey of self-discovery and love in order to heal herself with the help of some wonderful people. In a way it is nonfiction, (as it is true to life) but it reads story-style, and with insightful and profound life lessons. Read the whole thing in just a few nights and think it was well-presented and delivers an important message. Recommend for fans of self-improvement fiction.
Coreeez More than 1 year ago
one thing I like about this book by Melissa Woods is that her narrative prose is both intimate and profound--the way she brings the scenes to life and the attention to personal details on each character really gave this story genuine authenticity. I actually feel like I was there inside this crazy world with Stella, Rachel, and all the others…. It is literary /drama/ comedy/ tragedy/spiritual/psychological/self-help all in one, and feels fresh and original enough and is definitely unpredictable. It is more than just a regular book and really encompasses so much more of the human condition – and it is also sweet at times, despite being so ‘deep’ and ‘dark’. I chuckled at some of the dialogue and really enjoyed watching the characters evolve as the story progressed. Thought it wrapped up well and I was satisfied with how it all ended up with Stella’s character growth. Quite inspiring! Recommend.
JTHACK More than 1 year ago
There is much to be said about a novel that just reads well. I've mentioned this before in other reviews I’ve written, but a book that keeps you reading long after you plan on putting it down ranks high for me. Not only is it entertaining, but you look forward to getting back into the book each and every time you pick it up, if you have the self-control to ever put it down. That is what reading this book “Getting Past Anxiety” by Melissa A. Woods has done for me. Typical of much of philosophical and self-help/spiritual fiction I’ve read, it has much in the way of insightful candor and grand scale epiphanies, reasoning and questioning to lead one to a higher state of being and awareness, yet it still remains inventive and very creative. With each evolving scene, you won't know who… or what… will show up next and how they will affect Stella’s life. The plot moved quickly and even though some traditional literary archetypes show up, it is not in the usual way, which is refreshing. Loved the ending. Recommend to anyone who suffers from any anxiety (or knows someone who does), or just wants better understanding and awareness of the affliction.
AprilDawn More than 1 year ago
from the opening pages of “Getting Past Anxiety…” I knew it would be different from the books I’ve been reading lately and I was right! Right off the bat Melissa A. Woods sets up the scenes and characterizations in a skillful way that not only pulls us in right away, but creates great visualizations and elicits emotional investments. She really knows how to write descriptive and life-like scenes that make us feel like we are really there inside Stella’s head through the whole story, as opposed to it all just being rehashed to us and keeping us away from the action and her emotions (good and bad) as seems to happen so often in these types of books (with heavy narrative) I like that this book didn’t feel stale or derivative, but instead like a new niche of ‘real life’ self-improvement and spirituality that serves well to help diversify the genre in a very cool way. Overall the entire novel was one that I thought was impressive and kept me reading night after night and I loved how it ended. I am looking forward to more from Melissa Woods!
NikkyH7117 More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars I really liked “Getting Past Anxiety”, and I’m usually pretty on the fence about a lot of these types of books…The characters all had their own distinct personalities and enough quirkiness so as not to feel like the cliché stereotypes, but you almost feel like they are being based on a real person, (or parts of). All the characters were very different and we never knew exactly how they would affect Stella, guessing as you read and also experiencing her transformations and spiritual epiphanies with her. Liked that it was never boring and kept on rolling. I would give you a summary, but there were so many twists and turns that it would take forever and it’s hard to describe in a way that does it justice. Writing was smooth and the third-person omniscient worked well. I like how real the characters seemed, and that they weren’t ‘preachy’ but just revealed their purpose and messages in an organic, profound manner. If you are expecting a traditional type novel you might be disappointed because this one is told in a more unique, almost surreal fashion that shows personal experiences and changes that the main character Stella goes through in confronting her past and overcoming her anxiety in life. But a compelling read and definitely worth my time. Very clean editing and formatting. Polished and professional.
KMatthews More than 1 year ago
"Getting Past Anxiety” was a little different from most types of books I’ve read but still a brilliantly fun and creative novel that borders on the surreal and existential. The title comes from the lead character Stella who faces her personal problems with the help of the different characters who come to help her get over her almost debilitating anxiety and stress. They are a part of her life and they help to shine light on her issues and guide her to self-discovering and healing…Getting past her anxiety. But as we read along, we can see how many of these insights can apply to us as well and perhaps help our own lives. So much of our happiness and success relies on what we tell ourselves on a daily basis, and our mental state controls almost everything! All in all, a very good read that I’d recommend to anyone who wants to experience a different type of book that will teach and entertain you.
LeoG2 More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars "Getting Past Anxiety” is a unique, compelling read, and one that will definitely appeal to fans of literary fiction and spiritual self-improvement novels. Although the concept itself isn’t entirely new, (main character facing her personal struggles through introspection and reflection vis- a-vis other characters) Melissa Woods brings an exciting fresh voice and infuses a fantastic blend of spiritual awareness, literary chops, emotional and personal experiences, true-to life feeling events and characters, and an inspiring message. The story itself was fairly even paced, and even though some parts were sort of slower, it certainly was never boring and some parts really moved me. The writing is very smooth and I was happy with how it all turned out, and thought the overall feel of the book was quite uplifting, especially considering it has sort of a darker tone at times.
JeanOJO More than 1 year ago
Great book! I liked it for so many different reasons-- first the writing was really solid and had great depth. I can really picture not only Stella, but Rachel, Gabrielle, even her mom and dad and Ashton. The fluid, insightful narrative and authentic dialogue with the characters makes it a very easy book to sink into. There are enough descriptions where you can picture everything perfectly, but not so much that it bogs down the pacing. The characters are super interesting and believable, even for being used in a way that is a bit unusual (they are more ‘props’ for Stella’s therapy/healing than standing on their own), but I like how they all had their own little stories and purposes to show Stella and how/why she is the way she is. Interesting to see how it all played out, and it is an insightful look at a character that we can so easily see ourselves in. Great editing and pacing and touches on many profound and insightful topics. Not a super obvious ‘self-help’ book, but very helpful nonetheless.
SherriWarner More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars I was hooked from the first intriguing pages of “Getting Past Anxiety” by Melissa A. Woods, and my interest never faded for a moment! I loved the open-minded and enlightened and strong characters (like Wendy and especially Rachel) and how they come into Stella’s life to teach her how to improve different parts of herself, and how to get past her anxiety (hence the title) This is not set up like a standard novel (with a clear plot or 3 act storyline), but more of a literary and spiritual experience that feels surreal, yet so real. Almost reads like stream of consciousness at times, and other times you are reading some deep narrative that will give you pause and make you think. I love how Ms. Woods really thought outside the box here and took chances – didn’t just rehash the same old formula we’ve all seen a million times before which makes this book unique. I’ve read a ton of books over the years so I’m rarely surprised by anything anymore but I can say that this author managed to do it. I appreciated the brisk pace and the descriptive details that really brought the story to life and put us so clearly in Stella’s head and soul. Some very deep and sad moments that touch your heart and in a way her path to healing (from her past) can relate to other people as well. The story unfolds over several years (and goes back in time) so we see a ton of character development and a great transformation. Would love to read more books from this in-tune and in-touch author!
MarcellaGonz More than 1 year ago
first, I have to say that I don’t normally read books like this, but it was truly incredible reading and a moving, eye-opening experience. Loved that this was fiction novel, yet still had all the ingredients of a self-empowerment guide or a self-improvement book. Just so loaded with interesting insight and wisdom along the way wrapped up in a riveting story with compelling characters! There is such strong, vivid writing, and I appreciate that the main character Stella is so regular and down to earth, but is flawed, and going through real transitions we can relate to. Liked the characters that come into her life, some more beneficial than others but each contribute to her life in their own way. Everything just felt “authentic” for lack of a better word. Dialogue, interactions, scenes, descriptions…Likes that it was really unpredictable and we get to see the story from lots of different times of her life (from her childhood to her adulthood). Could maybe benefit from some light trimming of content as there are sections that do little to advance the storyline and serve as more ‘filler or fluff’. But all in all, a very good read that I’d recommend even to those who don’t normally read this sort of thing…try it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
JennaBrewster More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars "Getting Past Anxiety” was great!! Melissa A. Woods has the ability to keep the reader totally engaged throughout the entire story; that is no small feat considering the unorthodox storyline/plot, the diverse set of characters that come and go, and the fact that this isn’t really a traditional novel with action, plot, consequences, high stakes, etc, but more of a personal, spiritual/emotional journey one woman goes on in order to improve her life and deal with her anxiety issues. Her experience in turn becomes ours. You want to keep reading it but at the same time you have to stop to think about it all and let it sink in as it is intense in the subject matter at certain points, and heartwarming and charming and downright depressing at other times. The ending is nice but I feel like I wish could know Stella’s future more – how she’s changed. I’d love to read more from Ms. Woods someday. Great insight… great writing… great character. Fantastic!
-Cale-Owens- More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars At first I wasn’t sure if this would be the type of book that would appeal to me…but I was looking for something a little out of my comfort zone and I have dealt with anxiety in the past. Since this was more of a ‘novel’ about it than a straight ‘self-help’ nonfiction book, I thought I’d give it a chance. I felt a great sense of connection to the character of Stella and her experiences became mine as well. “Getting Past Anxiety” by Melissa A. Woods is excellently written, premise and pacing-wise (the ‘plot’ is more vague and loosely defined than most novels), and it definitely kept my attention from the intriguing opening to the satisfying conclusion. It is easy to read quickly… finished it in the span of a few nights, but got a ton of story for my money, that’s for sure. Each scene was riveting, imaginative, and well-described (where we feel like we are there) the conversations were all very real-sounding. But the best part was how Stella has a great narrative insight to problems she is working through, and ways she wants to open herself up and be better, and get to the root of her stress and anxiety – even if it means re-opening old wounds and unhealthy relationships. It is through these interactions with the other characters that she learns to heal. It is eye opening encouraging… a different type of story that also teaches us something as we read along. I felt like I got a lot out of this book and would read more from Ms. Woods in the future.
BrendaMax More than 1 year ago
"Getting Past Anxiety” by Melissa A. Woods has a great blend of many elements - Drama, personal struggles and triumph, humor and sadness, surreal and spiritual, philosophical and profound… likable and relatable characters … but I was most impressed by the seamless narrative and transitions with the different scenes with regards to Stella’s phases of her life and her therapy. We really get deep inside Stella’s psyche, and there is a dynamic cast of characters who have their own stories to tell and interesting conflicts to help her to overcome. Always found myself reading for longer than I planned to, as there was never a place I’d get to and then wanted to “stop”. This is good too. Liked the ending, and think that despite the unusual storytelling style, this book will have wide ranging appeal and I can see fans of literary self-improvement books gobbling it up.
KayleeeKS More than 1 year ago
wow, “Getting Past Anxiety” By Melissa Woods was great! I haven’t read anything like that in a long time, if ever. For once it seemed like the characters were anything but the ordinary, stock characters we always see where they revolve around the storyline, but instead are instrumental parts of Stella’s life and her problems… and only by going back and dealing with them one-on-one can she continue her path to emotional growth and overcome her anxiety. I like reading books like this, and how it makes us take a look at our own lives in a different way. This book brings it all home and I was totally invested until the very end. I loved the way the plot line unfolded and the narrative was touching as well as ‘teaching’… even when we don’t obviously realize it. It felt as real as it could be… But I was really invested in how it would all turn out for Stella, and was really happy with the ending. I thought overall it was a genuinely good book, that is very different from the norm, but that is why it is so great. Recommend.
BellaReadz More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars "Getting Past Anxiety” was an interesting combination of profound introspection, family drama, and personal conflict, and warm-hearted inspiration. I liked how the author Melissa A. Woods managed to create this unique, deep and complex—but not confusing—story of a woman and her ‘friends’ who assist her with personal growth in a wonderful way! It definitely held my attention throughout, because it’s the story of a woman who goes from one part of her life to another, each part has its own challenges and discoveries, and eventually coming to a positive transformation of sorts at the end. It had a nice balance between the introspective narrative and the dialogue. Woods delivers an entertaining, original tale that is edgy and enlightening.
Darla_Ortiz More than 1 year ago
The well-written character-driven psychological/spiritual drama “Getting Past Anxiety” by Melissa A. Woods really impressed me by its originality in many areas and terrific insight and an emotionally substantial (and genuinely clever) premise. I read lots of books in this genre, but this is my first one dealing specifically with anxiety, but I found I could relate on many parts of it. She is a talented author whose creative vision breaks new ground but follows comfortingly familiar elements for the genre, and the story kept me glued to the pages for hours, lost within an interesting world with characters that fascinated (and sometimes confused) me to no end. I have to say that there were some times where I felt there could be some cutting down of some conversations/ scenes that seems to just add more confusion than necessary, and the ending, while it comes full circle in a way, was kind of bittersweet. Great last line though. A riveting journey that entertained and taught me some things, and I will gladly read more from Melissa A. Woods anytime. Recommend.
TabithaP1 More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars great writing, great ideas (and lines), great characters and conversations, great premise and life lessons…. Overall a terrific read that I feel really delivered in terms of recognizing and dealing with and overcoming our human flaws and insecurities and fears that can stop us from living our fullest, best life. I admit this isn’t really my normal genre of reading, but the sample pulled me in and it was just so easy and fun to read and different from much that is out there. I thought the writing was descriptive and the characters really helped bring Stella’s story to life in a relatable way, even though some parts are quite sad! Deep and introspective at times, funny and lighthearted at others… I can see this fitting in well in a literary self-help section of a book store. As the title indicates it focuses primarily on anxiety, but I thought it had an overall positive message that can appeal to a wider target audience. Recommend.
LaylaM1 More than 1 year ago
what a wonderful book. There were many things I liked about it, but most noticeable off the bat was the author’s warm and friendly ‘voice’ that makes it so enjoyable to read. But the book also had impressive substance, great insight and feels uplifting (even when bleak). Overall the pacing was decent, with adequate balance of narrative and dialogue, and the whole thing just flew by very quickly for me. I appreciate the compassionate manner of storytelling that was employed by Ms. Woods, and how it gets deep into the internal conflicts Stella faces, but doesn’t get too weighed down with self-pitying ‘woe is me’ melodrama. Quite the opposite. Reads very quickly, even literary almost, and all felt very true-to-life, even if the characters were fictional. Plenty of interesting conversations to keep us engaged throughout, and I loved how it all came together in the end. A riveting read and while it’s not perfect, it’s very enjoyable and eye opening on many aspects of anxiety, and tells a good character drama at the same time. Would love to read more from Ms. Woods in the future.
ClaireBear74 More than 1 year ago
I thought that his book was really cool. Super different from most types of ‘self help’ books out there – it is delivered as a fiction story, but it feels real like it’s a documentary of Stella’s experiences. It feels like a mix of fiction/nonfiction and is written in a way to help people understand their personal issues better in a way that we can relate to, and even enjoy (as reading a novel). The characters were all interesting and well-written, and seem like they really each had a good role that helped shape Stella’s personal growth journey. Fast paced and engaging, it all came together seamlessly to tell an introspective, inspiring book. Recommend for readers of literary drama, spiritual fiction and self-improvement.
SteffyC More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this novel by Melissa A. Woods. It is the first one I’ve read by this author but hopefully it won’t be the last! There’s lots of complex emotional action, great character and story development, flashes of humor, and some genuinely profound moments. Some characters are on occasion paper-thin, but they’re mostly likable and definitely serve a purpose. The world Ms. Woods creates feels like a composite of familiar elements, but there is enough originality so that I don’t feel like I’ve read it before at all… Woods is great at breaking down the unfolding plot into manageable chunks so as not to overshadow the bigger picture of it all. Stella is on a spiritual and mental journey to heal herself of her anxiety brought on by a stressful childhood (including losing her brother) her hardships growing up. As the story unfolds we meet these different characters who are a part of her past and also those who she is with today, and then you can see that there’s more complexity here than you’d initially expect. A fast paced read that I didn’t want to put down, especially towards the end, which I thought was lovely.