I have a confession. For twenty years, I have been a little bit enamored of Paris Hilton. I mean I haven’t actually watched her shows, listened to her music, or even Googled her until just now, but I have been known to purchase a magazine or two simply because she was on the cover. I’m not typically taken with celebrities (besides Johnny Depp), so I decided to examine this interest.
I was twenty-seven years old, and had just given birth to my third child, when a friend brought People magazine to the hospital. There she was; a stunningly beautiful, young, wealthy heiress. Jet setting around the world, going to Europe for a friend’s birthday party, and within a few hours attending an event in New York City.
At that point in life, I had never been on an airplane except once when I was twelve. But I didn’t get to fly. I was just helping escort my great-grandma to her seat so she wouldn’t be nervous.
I was intrigued by the fact that one could party on two continents in a single day. I wondered what it would be like to have friends in Europe. I wondered what Europe was even like. In fourth grade, I had to describe the one place in the world I would most like to visit. I wrote about London, stating that it would be, “very foggy,” and I would see, ‘’ladies in silk dresses, lots of castles, and probably some rats.”
I remember lying in the hospital, discouraged by the weight I had gained, feeling pain from a c-section, unexcited about tackling life with an infant, a toddler, and a preschooler, and wondering…what was it like to be thin, beautiful, and completely free to explore the world?
I was prematurely frumpy and lacked knowledge of anything outside of my tiny circle. Postpartum depression had set in after baby number two, but I didn’t recognize it or know I should get help. I had spent the last six weeks of my third pregnancy sleeping on my mother-in-law’s living room floor while we worked on our “fixer-upper.” I had one day in the new house before the baby was born. There were still mountains of boxes to unpack, and a lot of work to be done. I would be going home to share a bedroom with all three of the children, and going back to my waitressing job as well as a second job at Arby’s. I loved my kids with every ounce of my being, but I also felt trapped and overwhelmed. Paris Hilton’s life offered a mental escape.
Twenty years later, I am not only in a much healthier frame of mind, but I can look back and see the good that was in my life at that time. But it was nearly impossible to do while fighting depression. Fortunately, my OB/gyn recognized what I was dealing with and prescribed the appropriate medication. Within a few months, I had worked my way up from the bottom of the spiral and kicked the postpartum blues. Zoloft and Buspar helped me get a sense of normalcy, and once I was able to grasp that, I never needed it again. But that’s not the case for everyone. Sometimes, people need to be on it long term.
Unfortunately, in some circles, there is a stigma associated with depression and medication, and that prevents people from getting the help they need. There were those close to me who really gave me a hard time for taking anti-depressants, but I am so grateful that I had the strength to ignore those people.
I still think Paris Hilton is beautiful, and has an intriguing life, but these days I’m content with my own appearance, and am intrigued by my own exploration of life. I’ve even been to London a couple of times. The fog lifted, and much to my surprise, there wasn’t a single rat in sight.
Syndicated columnist Ginger Claremohr is an author, motivational speaker, and mother of five. Follow her on Facebook, find her on the web: www.claremohr.com, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org