Michael Beaudreau: “I was tired of having to lie”
Worriedly, the man peered out the window as the police, along with his probation officer, marched up to the house. He stiffened; then, as abruptly as it had come, the tension vanished, and a deep sense of relief swept through him.
“I was coming down off the drugs,” recalls Michael Beaudreau, 45. “I had been on a multi-day run, and I was tired. I had seen a lot of hurt in my wife, and I was aware I was going back to jail. I knew that, if I didn’t do something about my drug use, I would continue to go to jail. I had a moment of clarity and knew that I was done! I told my probation officer, ‘I’m glad you’re here to arrest me! I’m tired of using (drugs)!’ ”
Reflecting on the hard years that led up to this moment in 1994–the vicious cycle of drug use and jail, Mike frankly observes, “I repeatedly put myself in the wrong place at the wrong time. I knew I was doing wrong. From the start my parents taught me right from wrong.”
The youngest of four children from a “loving, caring family” in Orange, Calif., Mike’s problems began, he believes, in the seventh grade when he started smoking cigarettes. “Once I picked up that cigarette, I felt a newfound freedom to do other things.” He was soon drinking alcohol, and, “by age 14, smoking pot.”
However, when Mike met Christina (“Tina”) Jobert at 16, he says, “I stopped using and drinking altogether.” He and Tina were married in 1976. At his bachelor party, he was again “introduced to smoking pot and drinking, and from then on it was a never ending spiral downward.”
Mike remained functional for a while, working at “a very good job.” When his mother died in 1980, however, he was “devastated,” and it was then that “someone turned me on to speed.”
Soon Mike was “using and dealing speed.” The lifestyle brought him eventually afoul of the law, and his work performance began slipping. After eight years with his employer, he lost the job, and, beginning in 1982, he was jailed repeatedly for sundry “drug-induced violations.”
“Tina was supportive of me all along,” Mike notes. “She visited me in jail whenever she could. She caught a glimpse early on of what I was like without drugs, and she always knew that–if there was any possible way to stick with me and I could just get off the drugs–she would not have a bad husband.”
In 1992, Mike began injecting the drug. “The high was instantaneous. I liked what I was feeling when putting it into my veins.” By the time of his arrest in 1994, he confesses painfully, “I could not even stay clean for one day.” He was then court-referred to the Anaheim ARC.
Soon afterwards, Mike, along with others, was escorted to the nearby Harvest Crusade evangelistic meetings. He was confronted there by Shane Gilmore, a member of the ARC staff: “Mike, you need to come down [to the altar].” Emotionally recalling the moment, Mike relates: “It was a scary thing for me. Shane personally took me down and we prayed together. I turned my heart over to God, and from then on I knew that, if I did the ARC program as prescribed, God would lead me in the right direction.
“I was so tired of the life I was leading. I was tired of having to lie–there are so many lies that come with using (drugs)! I told Tina again and again, ‘This is the last time. I promise! I promise!’ But as soon as I got out of jail, I would always try it ‘just one more time!’ ”
“Today I can honestly say that I have never had the urge to use drugs again, and my relationship with Tina is stronger than ever. I’ve got so much love it isn’t even funny!”