Brandon Novak, you’re an official part of the Banyan Crew now! Welcome aboard man! How’s it feel to be on the team Skywalker instead of the Darkside?
You have no idea! For the better part of 20 years not only did I know, but I accepted the fact that I had lost the war with drugs and I would die with a needle in my arm. Today I am sober and employed by Banyan Treatment Centers. In my opinion on of the best treatment centers to date helping one addict/alcoholic at a time to change their perception that he or she will die with a needle in their arm. Making the impossible, possible is surreal to say the least!
We were creeping your Facebook (#shameful) and it looks like your fans are super proud of your newfound passion for helping addicts as well as your own sobriety. What does that support feel like?
My fans, family, and friends outlook on me has completely changed from night to day. Prior to my sobriety 90% of their comments consisted of stuff like, “Novak, please get yourself together” “Please don’t die" “I’m praying for you” “Get clean for your mother” “Why do people keep giving you chances” “Die already” to “I have 30 days clean, thank you!!!” “You’re truly and inspiration to me” “If you can get clean I know I can” “We knew you could do it” “Thank you for inspiring my son/daughter to get clean” I truly feel loved and as though I finally have a purpose here on earth.
That’s awesome man! How about your Pennsylvania and Baltimore crews?
It’s kinda funny, I literally don’t have one friend that would want me to drink or drug even if they don’t get recovery. Every one of them has seen first hand the destruction path I go down after that first drink time and time again. For the safety of myself and them they fully encourage my sobriety to the utmost! I’m truly grateful to have the friends that I have.
What was it like where you grew up, do you think that had an effect on your decision to start using?
I grew up in a household where the abnormal was normal. My mother was a nuclear physicist who instilled morals, values, honesty, and hard working ethics. My father never had a job a day in his life and taught me if (and when) I went to jail how to conduct myself… he died a a crack addict. We sold and used drugs together. I absolutely hated my father for what he did to my mother and I later on became that very man. I believed I was pre-disposed to my addiction genetically.
I can’t even imagine that… glad you came out if it all! We saw a bit from your post about May 25 last year and how that kind of broke you… can you share a little more about that?
Basically on May 25, 2015 I finally accepted the fact that I was an alcoholic. I had known for the better part of 20 years I was an alcoholic, I knew that I was “powerless over alcohol" and my life was unmanageable. If that were the case my mother wouldn’t have bought me a plot 4 years ago on Mother’s Day, people wouldn’t have taken life insurance policies out on me, I wouldn’t have been medevact to the hospital on 4 different occasions due to overdoses. I knew I was an alcoholic but when I “accepted” it the terms of my contract changed. It was at that moment I stopped being my biggest enemy and completely "sold out" to sobriety.
How are you currently spreading the love of recovery?
Today I currently work with other alcoholics guiding them through the 12 steps. I attend meetings and share my story in different states throughout the nation letting people know that as long as your breathing… recovery is possible.
How did your relationship with Banyan Treatment Center transpire?
I was approached by David Goloski, and asked if I would be willing to come to South Florida and share my story with their clients at Banyan. It was at that time I got to see every level of care that Banyan has to offer towards overcoming addiction. I fell in love with their different approaches of recovery, as well as their employees. It felt like a big family of misfits that fit. Doing the right thing for the right reason and believing in one another. They believed in me and my recovery and I believed in their sincerity in helping the sick get better. When they asked if I would be willing to join their team it was a no brainer.
What advice would you give to someone that knows an addict, is there anything they can do or say to get that person help? Is there anything that you wanted people to understand when you were in that spot? Anything that would have helped?
As long as an addict is breathing they have a chance. A chance to turn their life around and truly become free from bondage of self. There’s 3 things that happen to an addict in life. They go to jail, end up in rehab… or die. Those are honestly the only three recurring themes in an addicts life. It doesn’t have to be that way, myself and countless others are living proof. If you want what I have do what I do! It’s that simple.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to share with us?
I do! August 8th I’m sharing at Father Martin Ashley August 10th at a meeting called “The Kitchen” on 18th & Wolf St in Philly August 18th at Phoenix Recovery Center in Maryland August 20th Bowling Green Treatment Center Alumni Picnic August 21st at a meeting in Bel Air, Maryland August 28th in Ohio FOA Rally for Recovery August 31 I’m sharing at an Overdose Awareness Rally in Chicago
We’re so glad you’re doing well, how can people get in contact with you if they want to get out of the grip of addiction?
If your reading this and can relate, well then so do I. I’ve lived like you’re living, I’ve used like you’re using, and most importantly I’ve felt like you feel. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy but here’s the good news… there IS a solution to your problems.