From two psychiatric evaluations, to losing custody of her sons, to a triumphant return to the top of the pop echelon, Britney Spears knows her 2008 has been one rollercoaster of a ride.
"This whole year has been a hell of a year for me," Spears tells Glamour magazine in its January 2009 issue. "I have 'come back' so many times, people are just like, Is this another one? ...It's kind of like a joke to me now."
Admitting that she "didn't know exactly where I stood with everyone," Spears says it was her big night at the Video Music Awards, where she picked up three trophies, that made her realize people do want her to give them more. "When I received the awards and [the audience] stood for me, it showed me how much love is out there," she says.
As she prepares for the Tuesday release of Circus, which coincides with her 27th birthday, the singer hopes fans will hear its "really personal" tone.
"Recording this album has helped take my mind off certain things," she says. "For me, my music is therapy ...It's me talking to them, instead of just singing a song about something."
Spears, who reiterated she prefers being a homebody to partying nowadays, also has high — and stable — hopes for 2009 and the future as she closes the chapter on a whirlwind 2008.
"I would like to stop worrying so much, because I worry all the time. And to learn how to be happier, just in general," she said. "In five years I would like to be married and have a father figure for my kids, someone who is a provider and can be really stable. It's hard doing it on your own."
Where does Britney stand with you? Will Circus complete her "comeback," or is her comeback still in the making?