'The August Months'

Steffie Wallace

Steffie Wallace was born in Adelaide and has lived in Melbourne since childhood. In addition to being employed in the medical field over a number of years, she has worked as an art journalist, gallery director and marketing manager. Her studies have included fine art, sociology and media studies. Now a full-time artist, she exhibits her landscape paintings in Australia and overseas.

    I first wrote this book in 1996, following my own personal experience of a family tragedy. In the process of coming to terms with this event, I wanted to share the experience of the isolation and alienation which followed, as I realised it would help with my own reactions and hopefully, help others to identify with those emotions and know they were not alone.
I also wanted to expose the reality of recovery from addiction by illustrating that there is no simple method to break away from dependence on drugs and alcohol, and it is not merely an exercise in will-power and self-control.
Writing this book was a cathartic and life-changing experience which allowed me to move on in my life and in doing so, help others. I did not want to create a merely factual account of the events of my own circumstances; rather I saw it in the context of a novel which dealt with the wider issues of addiction in our society, particularly alcoholism and obesity.
I have been fortunate to have reached a level of acceptance of the circumstances beyond my control and I am grateful for the many opportunities which have been given to me following this traumatic event.
With the first publication, I received a great deal of positive feedback via readers' letters, and this has led me to reprint the book some 20 years later with a new preface by Professor David Penington AC. Through this new edition, I hope to give some encouragement to those who find themselves in seemingly insurmountable situations from which there seems to be no escape, as this was the situation I found myself in almost 30 years ago. Today, I have a busy and fulfilling life as an artist, and I have found a peace of mind I never thought possible. I hope that my story will provide some hope for others in similar situations.