During last year’s lockdown, Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood offered a series of readings for other alcoholics that he said gave him peace and acceptance during a difficult time.
Soon Wood would face his own challenge: he would be diagnosed with small cell cancer (it was his second cancer diagnosis since 2017).
In an interview, Wood described what helped him get his way. It wasn’t drugs or alcohol.
“I have a lot of problems now, but during my recovery you have to let go of it,” Wood told a reporter from The Sun. âAnd when you hand over power to your higher power, it’s a magical thing.
“That brings you back to the serenity prayer, ‘Give me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change.’ That’s incredible. What will be will be, it’s none of my business. “
Celebrations come and go in Telluride, but for those who live here there is a unit that not only believes in Serenity Prayer but puts its words into action seven days a week: the Telluride Chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous. âWe’re always here,â said one member of that organization (let’s call him âTedâ).
In the last 18 months, the members of the AA group of the Box Canyon have faced their own challenges: For a long time, they were not able to meet in person for fear of the spread of the novel coronavirus. For a few months now, members have finally been able to meet again at Christ Church. Participants must now meet with masks; First, the church government required it, and now San Miguel County has mandated face covering. As a result, “attendance has dropped a bit, but not much because we can still zoom,” said Ted. Putting on a face covering is âa small thing to do for yourself and for everyone. It would be easy to use it as an excuse not to go to meetings. Nobody likes to wear one! But if I only have to wear a mask a few times a week to stay sober and help others, it’s worth it. “
These days, the AA attendance is not only stopping quickly, the Telluride chapter is also welcoming new members. A new meeting on Saturday at 4 p.m. – again at Christ Church and on Zoom – is for women only.
âThe interest was great and the number of visitors seems to be increasing every week,â said the participant âLucyâ. “It is very nice and very supportive to have a room” exclusively for women. “We have something in common and are able to share things that we may not be comfortable with” when both sexes are present.
Both AA chapters “stay strong,” Ted added. âLast night we celebrated birthdays and personal milestones, both in person and online. This is a very positive thing for newcomers. Over the summer we had a lot of new visitors who told us they were just glad we met. We have quite a significant following: a lot of returning visitors to the Telluride Film Festival or Blues & Brews come year after year. It’s nice to know that while you’re traveling – or for whatever reason outside of your comfort zone – you have a meeting to go to. Having a meeting to go to is especially helpful in early recovery. It helps you stay grounded. “
After a get-together, the participants can meet in the city. “The next day people remember meeting each other in town, maybe buying coffee and saying hello,” said Ted (more like motorcyclists lifting their fingers to the drivers across the street to agree).
“The person you’re with will say, ‘How do you know that guy?'” Ted said dryly. “It’s something special.”
The support never goes away because the fellowship that AA offers doesn’t stop: the Telluride chapter operates seven days a week, year round. “The last year has been weird and tough and we just had to endure it,” said Ted. âIt won’t take forever. All in all, we hold on – and become strong. ”
The Telluride Alcoholics Anonymous chapter offers meetings every day of the week (Al-Anon and NA meetings take place once a week). To have a list of meeting times and zoom codes sent to your phone, call 970-729-1120. Call 970-728-7270 if you need someone to speak to.