By Gail F.

The fall of 1988 was when a group of newcomers in West Marin were told, by one of the few women out here with some time in the fellowship, that we should start our own meeting. There were four of us trying to stay sober by doing “365 in 365” instead of the usual “90 in 90.” We were having a lot of fun driving back and forth from Inverness Park to Bolinas and Stinson Beach. We had endless discussions puzzling about sobriety, meetings, A.A. in general, the Big Book, the Steps and our various personal problems as we drove back and forth trying to avoid the wildlife on Highway 1.

We didn’t know it then but the bond we formed helped to provide us all with a solid base for our recovery. I think about those times often when a new woman comes into the meeting we started back then and wish for her what was given to us — a feeling of connection and support that none of us had experienced before. 

We started by asking all the sober women in West Marin to tell their stories

The meeting began in a little cottage in downtown Point Reyes Station, a cottage which at that time housed Health and Human Services. The living room we met in had an old-fashioned fireplace. We all got into the habit of bringing wood in the winter to keep ourselves warm. Eventually the meeting had to move when the house was sold and we were lucky to get the Inverness Fire House meeting room, where we are now. 

It is hard to keep a small meeting going sometimes, but this meeting has been strong for a long time now. Seventeen years. It’s easy for me to remember because I only had a few months of sobriety when the meeting began. We started by asking all the sober women in West Marin to tell their stories. That took care of our first few months of speakers. We decided pretty early on that we should alternate speaker discussion meetings with discussion meetings. After the local women had all told their stories a couple of times over as well as stories from their sponsors and relatives, we branched out.

I was going over the hill regularly to the Fairfax 7:00 a.m. meeting in those days and invited women from Fairfax and San Geronimo to speak at our meeting. We all made it our business to supply speakers. As a lot of sober women came to give us their experience, strength and hope we found they became regulars at our meeting and brought their friends. Now the continuing membership is at least one-half women from out of our immediate area. The meeting still fluctuates between 3 and 35 or so. We meet at the Inverness Fire House from 6:00 to 7:15 p.m. every Saturday. All are welcome.

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