I recently read “A Life Too Short The Tragedy of Robert Enke” which took some time to finish. Not because it’s a bad book because it isn’t but because, in places, it’s a tough read.
For someone who suffers from depression and loves football this book was fascinating. On one hand it explained the ins and outs of football transfers in Europe and gave an insight into the German national team as well as some of the top club teams in Europe including Barcelona. On the other it gave an insight into what it like not only to suffer from depression but also how the family and friends of the sufferer have to cope day in day out.
On the surface Robert Enke had it all. A wife and family, doing something he loved and representing his national team. But he suffered from anxieties over how good he was like many other people. I certainly understood his feelings of not being good enough even if others around you say you are. His daughter died at a young age – something that can break the strongest of people.
The struggle that Robert Enke went through is one that depression sufferers will identify with on a varying level. There is always the thought in your mind that one day you will be brought so low that there seems to be no way out except to end it. Luckily, for me, I have not yet experienced that but I know others who have. Having said that I could feel nothing but empathy for Robert as he felt he was brought so low. It must have been hard for him to ask for the help he so desperately needed knowing he was a public figure. At the time he was suffering the world in general was still very reluctant to understand depression as an illness. To admit to depression felt like admitting you could not cope and yet many depressives hold down jobs just as Robert did.
If you have never suffered from depression then this book will give you an insight into what can be a dark and frightening place. I would say read it even if the football side of it does not appeal.