On today’s episode of The SHAIR Podcast is the 2nd episode of the O-Zone, where I host a new featured show on InRecovery Radio brought to you by the Star Worldwide Network studios in Scottsdale, Arizona and produced by Bill Gates. Today, we have Mary Lyn joining us, and Mary Lyn has a CD out called Twelve Songs, and I’m going to let Mary Lyn tell us a little bit about everything that she’s got going on currently. Mary Lyn, are you with us?
Mary Lyn: I am. Thank you so much. I’m so happy to be a part of the O-Zone. I love it.
Omar: I love it, and feel free to call me O.
Mary Lyn: Okay, O. That’s great. Just call me Mary Lyn.
Omar: This is exciting, so Mary Lyn, please tell us about your CD. Tell us where the inspiration came for the CD. I also know that you have a workbook that coincides with this CD and where it comes from, so tell us where it was inspired from and where you’re going with it.
Mary Lyn: Well, sobriety has just been such an awesome journey for me, and I think I love recovery more now today than I did when I first got sober. I’ve been playing guitar since I was 16 years old, and just writing songs and music, and it’s very personal for me, my songwriting, and it’s kind of how I come to understand things … Is through songs. Or even communicate. It was always through lyrics or songs or going, “Hey, listen to this,” and then someone could tell how I was feeling, because I wasn’t really capable of describing how I was feeling, so music was a great tool for me to use to help other people see where I was and vice versa.
When I got sober, I just was trying to understand the 12 steps for myself. I was just trying to figure out … You sit in those meetings when you first get sober, and it’s a whole new language. I mean, I never heard people talk like this before. They have all these funny little sayings; Ninety meetings, ninety days, first things first, easy does it, and all this stuff. I was just like, “Wow. Okay, I’m just trying to absorb it myself.”
I started writing songs about being sober, and I had gotten in touch with a producer that I used to work with before drugs and alcohol took me out of the game, and I said, “Can I play some songs, and can we make some demos and stuff?” I kept bringing him these songs, and he goes, “You should make a CD,” and I was like, “What? No. No. I’m not going to make a CD.” He goes, “Well, you should,” and then I went home, and a couple of weeks later … Really, I woke up in the middle of the night and I said, “Oh, my God. The CD is 12 songs, and each song is going to be inspired by the 12 steps,” and then the journey began.
I just kind of went through this journey of doing steps and then looking for the hook, because I didn’t want the CD to be this … I wanted it to be relate-able to any … Something that you would hear on the radio. I want people to enjoy the music if they were in recovery or were out of recovery, so I really wanted it to have a national flavor to it, so that’s what I did. I went around and tried to find hooks and how would I … How do you explain step two? Came to believe in a power greater than ourselves to restore us to sanity, right? I mean, how do you write a hook to that? And ninety meetings in ninety days, right? Because that’s when that shift happens, in that time period where you kind of either get it or don’t.
And so then we just kind of went on from there, and then I just kept doing the next indicated thing with the CD. I’d never made a CD before, so I just kind of asked questions, and it took two years to put that CD together. It took me a year to write the songs, and then it took me a year to get money together to pay for the producing of it and the artwork, and I found out about how you distribute things and all of that.
It was just such an amazing journey, and I never thought that the music was going to go where it went. It was really just something personal. I was amazed that one person bought the CD, because I was really just kind of doing it for myself. I’ve had to do reorders after reorders of it, and it just blows me away. It’s been played all over the world, and I get emails from people saying how … From Japan and Australia and England. It’s like, “Wow, this is so cool.” It’s completely God inspired, and the whole process of AA has helped me get to the next steps.
Omar: Well, you’ve got a lot of great songs on here, and I’m sure our listeners would love to get their hands on them, so tell us where they can find this album and where they can find the workbook.
Mary Lyn: Okay. Well, my website page is called the sobrietysongs.com, and you can get the workbook and the CD off of there. It’s also available on iTunes. You can look under my name. Mary Lyn B is on iTunes or you can even … Twelve Songs, and it should pop up on that, so you can get it put on your phone.
Omar: Absolutely, and what about social media? What social media outlets are you on?
Mary Lyn: There is Twelve Songs on Facebook, and then LinkedIn. I’m on there. Mary Lyn. And Twitter … I think I have a Twitter account too. Yeah, I’m trying to get up with all of the social media stuff, and I love hearing from people. Like, my favorite thing is when they get the CD. A lot of times, if I’m in person and somebody gets a CD right off of me, I’m like, “Please get a hold of me and tell me what song you liked. Give me a feedback of like how that song has helped you,” and it’s because when I get those emails, that just makes my day.
Mary Lyn: I love hearing the different stories. Yeah, it’s really fun.
Omar: That’s beautiful. Well, we want to hear a little bit more about those success stories. We know that you’ve had some outpouring and some feedback, so tell us a few of those success stories of people that have really resonated and connected with the CD and the workbook.
Mary Lyn: Yeah. Well, like I said, the CD’s been out since 2002, so getting this feedback from the CD has been over a long period of time, and what’s really fun about the workbook now … We have about … The workbook’s only been out … This is the first year that the workbook’s been out, and I live in southern California, so there’s less than 10 recovery places around where I live that have bought the program. They bought the workbook, they bought the CD’s, and they do it in groups, either in IOP’s or in residential treatment centers. Sometimes I’m able to go in and conduct the group and play the guitar for them, and sometimes their counselor does the group as well, but when I get to come in and talk with the people, it is just so much fun.
Milestone Ranch out in Malibu is one of my favorite places to go, because it’s just beautiful out there. It’s right in the middle of the trees, and it’s just gorgeous. It was so much fun, because we come in, and usually in a group we have another musician that plays, and they’re just getting sober, and so to have that connection where we can share stories and appreciate each other’s talent … And then they get inspired to want to write recovery songs too. That’s great.
Planting that seed of joy and inspiration in somebody else is just wonderful, and no one really knows exactly … When they say that they’re coming into music group, they’re like, “Are we playing something? Or we’ve got drums.” And it’s like, “No, we listen to the music, listen to the words, listen to the message, and then we’re going to talk about it.” And then what happens is it gets down into their heart. It’s not just the head that they’re getting into it, and then you can find … Like, ninety meetings, ninety days has a real good hook to it, and then they’ll tell me … They’ll be leaving and singing the ninety meetings and ninety days, and then it just kind of sticks in your head, and it comes back.
They tell me, “Oh, I listened to your music, and I was having a hard time, and I went on this walk, and I listened to your music the whole time, and I just came back in a better mood, and I just felt like I could get through another day,” and it’s like, “Yes! That’s it. That’s the deal. Whatever you’re … It’s going to pass. If you just don’t drink and use in that crazy part, it’ll pass.” This gives a great way to get people talking about it, and having a personal connection with the steps in a way that’s still fun.
Thanks again for your SHAIR, Mary Lyn!
See you then!
Disclaimer – The opinions shared on this show reflect those of the individual speaker and not of any 12 step fellowship as a whole and though we discuss 12 step recovery and the impact it has had in our lives we do not promote or endorse any 12 step anonymous program.