I believe a word currently exists that is used as a metaphor to mean something similar to, "a person is (willingly?) carrying a physical object, but there is no benefit to carrying (or transporting) the object and the carrying of the object is a significant burden to the person."
The meaning of this word/metaphor is closely related to the albatross metaphor from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. In the poem, the mariner does not literally have the albatross hanging from his neck, however, even though he feels as if it were hanging from his neck. If the word I am looking for actually exists (and is not a mistaken memory of mine), the object/metaphor will be something that the person literally carries or holds.
I mistakenly believed that "lodestone" had this meaning, but I looked up the word and discovered that it merely means a magnetic stone. Oops: I am glad I checked.
I am not looking for words or phrases that are similar to shackles, ball and chain, hobbled, or Sisyphean task. The defects of those phrases involve one or more of the following: the condition is involuntary, the condition cannot be reversed or abandoned, it does not involve a physical object that is literally carried by the person.
- The word exists.
- In the tradition of misheard song lyrics, I believe that Jimi Hendrix would like to take a break and kiss this guy.
- There is a word or phrase that is close to what I believe exists, but not exactly what I believe exists.
- A motorcycle does not have doors.