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Ben's Story

A married man tells how a Viagra sample led him into the grips of dependency and despair.

My name is Ben, and I'm a recovering Viagraholic. As of now, it has been 3 years and 2 months since I took my last Viagra, but I won't lie to you - I crave Viagra every day. Thanks to Viagraholics Anonymous, I've gotten my cravings and my behavior under control.

It used to be that from the moment I woke up to the time I passed out at night (or often early in the morning), I was obsessed with getting my next Viagra fix. I lived from dose to dose, erection to erection. Viagra ruined my life and almost ruined my marriage. With support from my family and VA, I'm putting my life back together.

At 45, I'd been happily married to a wonderful woman for 19 years and fathered two beautiful children. But after a back injury, I started having difficulty maintaining erections during sex. I had never had this problem before, and I felt crushed. Despite my wife's understanding, I felt I was less of a man. I talked to my doctor and he gave me a sample of Viagra. After trying the first pill, I thought I had found the Holy Grail! I felt like a new man. My wife was impressed by my performance, but insisted that it didn't matter to her.

When my Viagra sample ran out, I found myself panicking. I got back to the doctor as soon as I could and had him write me a prescription. Over the years, my wife and I had gotten into the habit of making love twice a week, but I couldn't resist the lure of Viagra and the promise of easy erections. I started taking the pills more frequently, even if my wife said she wasn't in the mood. It was twisted reasoning, but I thought that my being able to perform better would make her want sex, and I thought that I was doing her a favor and being a great lover. Looking back, I see how selfish and inconsiderate I was. That's how Viagra warps your thinking.

It got to be so bad that my wife would kick me out of the bedroom after seeing that I had taken Viagra. I'd have to go down and sleep on the couch in the family room...after masturbating several times to cable TV softcore. Still, I couldn't stop taking the pills. Getting erection after erection made me feel so good about myself, like I was a teenager again. I started looking at other women and even considered having an affair.

Meanwhile, my need for Viagra was exceeding the amount that I got from my doctor's prescription. But after the sixth refill in two months, he cut me off, especially after he saw the condition of my penis, which by then was looking raw and bruised. The doctor told me about Viagraholics Anonymous, but I said I didn't need help and could quit if I wanted. But in the back of my mind, I knew I was helpless to control my urges.

I turned to the Internet and ordered more Viagra online, from two or three sites at a time, to maintain my supply. The days that followed are just a blur. Mornings I'd wake up on the couch, my pants around my ankles with another damned erection, then take a cold shower and stagger into work. I'd be walking around with an obvious erection in my pants, unaware that people were laughing at me behind my back.

It wasn't until my wife, my boss, my minister, and my closest friend staged an intervention that I realized I had hit bottom. I was so embarrassed and ashamed of what I had become. That week I attended my first Viagraholics Anonymous meeting, and I've been Viagra-free ever since.

Sex with my wife is better than ever now, even with my erectile dysfunction. I've learned to please her in other ways, and I've discovered that my masculinity and self-esteem are not dependent on my ability to maintain an erection. Thanks to VA, I've gotten my self-respect back and I'm no longer a slave to Viagra.


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