I apologize for the absence…
We visited a family member this week who is very ill. Her disease is common and often chronic. She is afflicted with “stuffitis.” Many of you are likely familiar with the symptoms: starting collections of different stuff, finding comfort in an excess of stuff, tendency to start new hobbies which require you to accumulate lots of stuff and then give them up shortly after to pursue something new, buying new stuff (such as video games, clothes or shoes) when you still have packaged ones that have never been used… the list goes on and on.
Some of those afflicted with stuffitis fall prey to the false cure of “retail therapy” and shop when they get that impulse or urge inside that things are wrong. It is a comfort of sorts and provides a very temporary feeling of relief. Often the sick are in denial when friends and family point out all the “stuff” that they have and never use and sometimes they get very defensive when advised that retail therapy may not be the cure to feeling down. They are often unwilling to part with their stuff even when it is no longer needed or used. It’s an unfortunate disease because others often see the need to buy as a normal symptom of our American society and never acknowledge the emptiness that has taken over inside the person.
While a cure has not been identified, many victims have found that volunteer work or other noble pursuits to find purpose in daily life may help fill the emptiness inside and resolve the need to acquire new stuff each day. We continue to pray that our family member will find peace within herself one day and break the cycle but for now she is refusing to change her shopping and spending habits.