I can honestly see how sentimentality can lead to hoarding. In fact, I think I may have some weird "lite" version of this problem (which probably explains all the clutter in my house). Today I went to the local jeweler to trade-in some gold jewelry that I don't wear.
A herringbone chain that pulls the hairs on the back of my neck. A pair of gold hoops that were bent out of shape. A claddagh ring that has cut my finger with its sharp little crown on more than one occasion.
Despite the fact that I haven't worn any of it for all these reasons, there is a part of me that found it so difficult to walk out the door. The chain was a gift from my then-boyfriend-now-husband. The hoops were a Christmas gift from my sister that I wore all the time until they were damaged. The claddagh ring was a gift from my mom.
I KNOW the memories don't disappear with the sale of these pieces. I KNOW these people won't be insulted if I sell these pieces. I KNOW all this. But still I feel guilty and a little sad.
I think I can take consolation in the repairs I'm having done to OTHER jewelry...the pearl ring I bought with my first "real" paycheck...the black hills gold heart ring that was the first piece of jewelry Steve ever bought me...the gold chain Steve got me (last Christmas) for my boys' birthstone charms. But then I wonder about the irrationality of attaching the memories to those things too.
Sometimes I wish I could turn my brain off.