Daniel Perez, a young man who has overcome depression and suicidal thoughts, wanted to break the silence, and therefore established his own non-profit organization, A Road of Possibilities, or AROP.
Perez said that his life spiraled out of control during the summer of his junior year in high school, when he was introduced to drugs. This led to alcohol abuse, which eventually led to an addiction to cocaine…all of which made his depression worse.
A few years ago, Midland encountered a short period of time in which approximately eight teens chose to take their lives. This was something which hit home for Perez.
“The last time I tried committing suicide was when I was going 100-110 mph on a straight road,” he said. “I came to a stop and that’s when I put one bullet in the chamber and spun it, holding to the gun to my head while still drinking from the bottle. I made up my mind on what I wanted to do. I was about to pull the trigger, when I got a message from my friend saying ‘I hope we are able to see each other this weekend, cause every time we try, we’re either too busy or something happens,” Perez said.
He knew then God was always watching over him and that everything happens for a reason. “I told myself that I needed to be a better role model to my brothers, and be a better person for myself,” he said. “When I decided I didn’t want to end my life, I got out of my car, held the gun away from me, and shot it and that’s when it went off. So if I hadn’t gotten that message at the exact same time that I was about to pull the trigger, I wouldn’t be here telling my story as an advocate.”
Perez said that his last suicide attempt led to the founding of his organization, A Road of Possibilities. The name derived from the thoughts he had as his car headed down a straight road at high speeds.
He said that all he saw during that moment was an endless road. Having overcome that, his perspective changed on that endless road.
He now looks at that road and sees what lays ahead…possibilities…endless possibilities.
“It was all the suicides that started happening in Midland that caught the attention of the media and really just touched home for me because I was there; I almost did it,” he said.“So, one night I was on the phone with one of my friends, and I just thought it would be a cool idea to start an organization just to help. It first started off as an anti-bulling page, and then as the months went on, it basically became an outlet for anyone that needed help.
Perez is hopeful and excited as his organization moves forward. “As of today I am working on some really big things,” he said. “I have a few speaking arrangements and I am working with people in different towns that have organizations such as mine, as well as musical artists that are wanting to help such an amazing cause. I am also working on events for this summer and the upcoming school year.”
Perez encourages anyone facing difficulties in life that seem overwhelming to speak up.
“If it’s not to your parents, tell a friend,” he said.“If not to a friend, reach out to someone. I promise there are people that are willing to listen. There’s so many resources out there that people should look into and know that they aren’t alone. Don’t keep anything in. Talk about it. Write about it. Just vent and try and seek help. Get a good support system around you. Take all the negativity in your life and just keep a positive outlook and never give up hope. Things get better.”