Avoidant Personality and Motivation Problems

I’ve been struggling with having avoidant personality and other detriments to my mental health for a long time, so much so that I’ve hardly realized the importance of making lasting connections with others on forums.

I get easily frustrated with my coding problems. I’ve been trying to learn CSS on and off for the last 10 years, getting frustrated every time and burning out and having to regain my motivation very slowly, only for the process to repeat.

I’m the type of person who until now has always been reluctant to sign up to forums for web development. The few times I’ve posted on Stack Overflow, the nature of the answers just makes me frustrated (e.g., “Do you need to do this?” instead of answering my question). I don’t question their intentions or solutions, but it rips my motivation to shreds easily.

My mental health is under control, thanks to years of psychotherapy and meds. So I have a huge obstacle out of the way, but the obstacle of staying motivated and not burning out is still with me.

I have an A+ certification that recently expired. I’ve never gotten an IT or any job with it, and now that I’m interested in getting into a web development job, all my amateur knowledge of CSS is holding me back. It feels (looks like, at least) the barrier to entry is so high, even for a junior/entry-level web developer job.

In order, over the last 10 years, I learned CSS, then PHP (but burned out and never went back to it), then learned CSS some more, then got better at JS, and I can say that I’ve made great progress in what I’ve learned on my own, but I know it’s still not cutting it with regards to what is expected for even the least barrier-to-entry web developer job. My Code Pen is just innumerable pens of started-but-not-finished demonstrations, nothing actually finished, because I always get tripped up with motivation and frustration over not being able to solve a particular problem.

As an aside, I’m self-taught in Japanese for the last 8 years (nowhere near fluency, but mainly just competency in reading and writing), and am very interested in Unicode, linguistics, and foreign language. Japanese has helped tremendously in keeping me motivated too—just the fact that, even with all of my shortcoming with regards to getting better at coding over the years, I still have that one thing I’ve hung onto after all this time and can be proud of.

I still feel really lost in my avoidant personality/reluctance to ask for help, but I now realize the power of making connections, giving advice, uplifting others (especially those who may be similarly struggling), and receiving empowering support from others.

My posts (this one, as well as posts to come) tend to be rough around the edges and encapsulate my thought process and ability/inability to explain myself concisely, and my fear of being off-putting to others who have to wade through my walls of text, so I don’t really know the best way to being all-around congenial person here and not come across as too much of a taker and not enough of a giver. But, I have to start somewhere, and I’m happy I found this community.

Also: I have gone to one Free Code Camp meetup thus far in Portland, but felt out of place there with nothing really to show for myself, and everyone knowing React and JS libraries and showing their impressive online portfolios that got them high-paid jobs. (No fault of theirs, of course.) I’ll push myself to reach out and make connections in person, though.


Well first off, welcome to the forum! :tada:

Thought I was the only one! Usually people’s eyes start to glaze over when I start talking about my favorite encodings and weird bugs… You should check out some articles by Mathias Bynens, if you haven’t already.

Not at all, you write really well. I don’t see much in the way of superfluous verbiage, and my background is in tech writing, so I’m pretty qualified to say that.

New members here usually tend toward being “takers”, simply by virtue of being newer and less experienced. That’s normal and expected. Those that become “givers” are just the ones that stick around long enough. But I guarantee there’ll be threads where you can help out, even as a relative newbie (even if it’s just “you forgot the closing tag” or “your capitalization is wrong”).

We live in the age of social media. Everyone is frantically curating their lives, both online and offline, for the benefit of showing how successful they are to their peers. In reality, everyone’s still trying to figure their own stuff out.

It’s difficult, but you have to try to judge yourself less by the success of others, because that “success” is just the curated 10% of their life that they show you. Maybe they’re just better at the act of curation than you are. And if being less good at curation means you show off a more raw version of yourself, many people will respond well to that honesty. It’s refreshing.


Thanks for your honesty, much appreciated. :slight_smile: I’ll have to keep the curation points in mind. I’m excited to start getting involved on the forum. :muscle: