No other kind of bankruptcy is like this one. Alcohol, now become the rapacious creditor, bleeds us of all self-sufficiency and all will to resist its demands. Once this stark fact is accepted, our bankruptcy as going human concerns is complete. (Twelve Steps and Twleve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 21)

Greedy creditor, the addiction,
coming at us like a bird of prey,
draining the life-blood, the will,
the give a care. Demanding —
even threatening —
like a bookie snubbed, scorned,
rebuffed. Tenacious, doggedly
snatching at self-respect,
at pretensions of sufficiency,
siphoning any shred of dignity.
Only in retrospect can extenuating
aspect sneak in, building footing
for bedrock despair. Powerless.
Life beyond control.