“Drinking… was warmth in a glass. It allowed me to be my best self… I tried to be all things to all people, and with enough wine I thought I really was. I had loads of baggage on the carousel, bags and bags, they were all mine and they were always moving and I had to keep an eye out for every single one.”
That’s how Sam Cowen describes the early years of her love affair with drinking; years before she admitted she’s an alcoholic. In a brutally honest memoir, From Whiskey to Water, Sam – in her deadpan and witty way – recounts how, in her words, “I stopped drinking, started eating, became clinically severely obese, stopped eating (everything that wasn’t nailed down) and swam my way to freedom.”
It is a book of bravery and immense courage that affects the reader more than might be expected, because everyone experiences addiction to something at some point, whether it is drugs, alcohol, food, gambling, or overspending. Sam’s humour prevents the book from becoming overwhelmingly maudlin. At the same time, From Whiskey to Water, is a gripping, gut punching and breathtaking portrayal of a journey to hope and redemption.
Listen to the interview with Sam Cowen:
This interview was first played on PowerFM on 17 July 2016.