I had just finished writing today’s post, but I think I’ll keep that for another day, because it just didn’t feel right today.
I have to admit I’m not a football (soccer) fan at all. I only watch it every 2 years when the national team competes at the world or european championships. Living in a football crazy nation, of course I know the basics about the teams in the premier league and quite a few players, especially from the national team.
So even I was shocked when I read about the death of our national teams goalkeeper Robert Enke just a few minutes ago. He was 32 years old, married and had just recently adopted a baby girl. His first daughter was born with a heart-defect and died at the age of 2 in 2006. Robert Enke was run over by a train, the police suspects suicide.
It’s just so incredibly sad. How desperate do you have to be to give up on your life? My heart goes out to his wife and family and all of his friends. Rest in peace, Robert.
Even when I have been at my most depressed, that’s just never been an option. How sad.
Turns out he was depressed and treated for it even since 2003. The public (and probably most teammates etc) didn’t know. At the pressconference his wife said, that he was so afraid that it would come out and that he’d lose his job, which was one of the few things he held on to. That he recently was afraid they’d lose their adopted daughter because authorities would think he’d not be fit to be father, because of his depressions.
He obviously has been suicidal before and in his last letter he apologized to his wife and therapist, for lying and pretending to be ok during the last few weeks. And that he had set his mind to end his life and couldn’t have done that if they had know about his recent suicial tendencies.
Oh my god, this is so so heartbreaking. I’ve been really sad and down in my life and it’s so easy to say “Oh, I’m depressed”, but really being depressed is so so so much worse.
Well, I know both sides.
I’ve never actually tried, but it was more than just an option. And just a few weeks ago I received a suicide note from one of my closest friends and I moved heaven and earth to try and stop him. Sometimes there’s no stopping.
What Robert did was not particularly tragic, nor particularly brave. It’s much harder to not end it all. It’s tragic what happened to him and his wife. And, it’s tragic he never sought help. Although I fully sympathise with his motives and emotions, I can not join in with the general media’s rhetoric of “tragic events”. He wasn’t tragically run over by some dunkard, he CHOSE to depart this life, even more so in the least “clean” manner. Train driver(s), paramedics – most likely without saying good-bye to his family. If you’re in a situation like this, you CAN’T think of the loved ones. The fact that you can’t – or don’t for that matter – think of them is tragic.
I knew last night he was suffering from depression. Anyone with a “serious” history of this illness could have told the media beforehand (I put “serious” in inverted commas here, because of the inflational use of the name/concept in a non-scientific context). Surprise!
I might be slightly cynical on this, sorry. It might have needed this whole superhype in the media throughout today to realise how much depression is still surrounded by tabooing and lack of knowledge. And probably my own personal events in recent weeks made me realise what suicide announcements can do to those who love you. In my own case this was the most egocentric and cowardish thing someone could do to me – it’s emotional betrayal. It’s – though probably not intended – blackmail and shifting blame: those left behind will blame themselves, no matter how much that person (well, him) assures them that they love them. I know this clashes with everyone’s right to decide what to do with their lives, but it’s a fine example that your right to free decision-making is hardly ever exclusively a question of individualism.
(Above all, the hypocritcal media coverage that somewhat exploded throughout the day is tragic, actually.)
I’m sorry to read that you know both sides from personal experience just too well. I completely agree: the tragic and heartbreaking thing is, that his depressions were so severe that he couldn’t think of the ones he will leave behind.
I also agree 100% on the taboo surrounding depressions. It’s such a hypocrisy to say “If we had known, we would have done anything to help him”, all the while the football business and the media expect you to be functioning. Just imagine the B*LD coverage if they would have gotten word of Enkes mental state anytime before.
Well, I could imagine that BILD would not have made anything public, just like they don’t make any footballer’s homosexuality public – the gays in the Bundesliga are their best and most reliable informants.
Besides, even if anyone knows about someone’s illness, they CAN’T help in the sense that they can’t relief it. They can help to show that there is someone behind the door of that room that you’re in. You will have to find the door yourself, and can use the lightswitch to find it – family friends, psychiatric and psychological help, both of which Robert had at his disposal. He opted not to use it.
I have to come to terms with guilt – although, rationally, I know it’s not my fault my friend rejected any offers.
No matter if they had made it public or used the knowledge to use it against him in any other way, it still would have destroyed him.
I’m really really sorry to read about what you’re going through at the moment and hope you have someone around to talk to. If not and you feel the need to talk, give me a call.
That you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped (whether this decision is rationally or caused by his illness) is the tragic of all of this. And something everyone left behind has to learn to live with and trying not to blame themselves.
Thanks for offering – I’m dealing with it quite well actually. I’ve done everything I can. It’s just another corner on life’s journeys, I guess. I learnt a lot in the last two years!