I might be one of the few gay men in America who knows so little about you that I often get you mixed up with the rest of those young woman who are your contemporaries (Lindsay, Jessica etc); however, lately, it's been tough not to be aware of you, not so much for your talents, but for your misadventures.
I understand that a few years back, you were the toast of the town. You were dating that Timberlake fellow, your Cd's were selling like crazy, and your face adorned dozens of magazines.
It must have been intoxicating for a kid originally from McComb Mississippi to suddenly be at the top of the heap. I wonder how that view from the top looks. It is probably a real mind-blower.
I remember once seeing you on Saturday Night Live in a skit, and thinking how cute you were. You reminded me of a girl I went to high school with. Her name was Linda Marie Johnson, and she was one of the prettiest and most popular girls in my class. Like you, Linda had tasted success very early in life. She was the head cheerleader, appeared in all of the school plays, was Homecoming queen, and voted ,"most likely to succeed".
Sadly, Linda's tale took a bad turn a few years after graduation.
Instead of going on to college, Linda met and married a guy a few years older than her and the happy couple took off to build a life together in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, the luck of Vegas alluded them both, and a few years later, he left her, penniless and with three kids in a trailer home just outside of Reno. A few months later, Linda moved back east with her parents, bringing her children with her. It was very difficult for the "star" of a small town to come home with her tale between her legs; but she did. Eventually, Linda got her act together, went to college while working full time, and today owns a relatively successful real-estate company.
Linda's story is not that much different from yours, don't you think?
Look , you are what, twenty-five years old? Your best years are yet to come! Why not just walk away from all of this crap, go get your kids, buy a small house somewhere under a different name, spend some quality time with your children, take some night classes, maybe even invest some of that money of yours wisely and just catch your breath.
You'll be surprised how quickly the paparazzi looses interest.
If your lucky, you still hold the rights to some of your music, so as long as a radio station somewhere is playing, "Oops, I Did it Again", you are guaranteed an income. Just make sure you live below your means, that way you'll never go break and have to do something desperate for cash.
Oh, and another thing, consider writing a book. A tell all / cautionary tale for the future Britney's of the world - teach them what to look out for.
I'd also suggest that you get some serious help with your drinking. There is no shame in going to rehab. Do it for your kids, and especially for yourself.
Then, wait about ten or fifteen years - after the kids have grown and your are in your late 30's or early 40's and make a come back! That book I suggested would be a great way to do it. If Oprah is still around, she's sure to have you on her show. Just make sure you tell the truth about everyone and everything in your tome.
Think about it, nothing says, "I made it" like having the last laugh!
PS: I saw those pictures from the VMA's the other night. You do not look fat.