Today at Kauai Aadheenam. November 12th on our vedic calendar. Sun 1, we are beginning a six-day phase. This means, six days of service to Siva.
We were blessed by the presence of four families from India who are on pilgrimage here, enjoying their inner self. Also, we had a call from Kashi Ashram. 125 ashramites sang a beautiful song to us all and we really enjoyed it. We are looking forward to Acharya Palaniswami, Yogi Yuganatha and two of the ashramites coming back to Kauai Aadheenam tomorrow.
Well, there are still more questions flowing in to our cyberspace ashram on the subject of drugs, drug abuse. So we are going to the heart of the matter in our series of, ‘Drugs, the Law, and You’. We are talking to two ladies, Sherise Pigano and Christine Nirpio at the Kauai Community Correctional Center. They are going to tell you of their experiences, in their own voice and both are mothers. Both are in their twenties, and both have a very sad story to tell. But, we hope that it won’t be you, that you can learn from their experience.
Arumugaswami: Sherice, why are you an inmate here at KCCC?
Sherice: What I got arrested for was forgery and burglary. It was drug related. I was influenced under ‘crystal meth’ and cocaine at the time.
Arumugaswami: How long have you been using drugs?
Sherice: I have been using for, I would say, about eight years and I’m twenty five now. I’ve come close to death many times. My rock bottom was prison, numerous times. I have been back in and out of prison for DUIs and picking up other charges.
Arumugaswami: What is it that has made you decide to change your life?
Sherice: What has really made me wake up this last time around was not only my children, but because of the fact that I was close to death with my husband.
Arumugaswami: What is the effect of ‘ice’?
Sherice: ‘Crystal meth’ has this effect on where you use it and you stay out for so many days. You start hallucinating. If you are in a relationship where your spouse is also on the drugs, it effects your relationship in many ways. They start hallucinating and start thinking all this crazy stuff. You are fooling around and things start to get dangerous; especially if firearms are involved. I was put in a situation where my husband thought I was fooling around, after we had been out for so many days. We both had our own guns and we were both at gun point. It is an experience that I will never forget. That was my last experience that I had before I came back. I carry that memory with me wherever I go because of the fact if I do end up going back to drugs, it will be definitely death. Right now, I am just dealing with myself and my issues that really is the core problem to drugs. Not knowing how to deal with reality, not knowing how to face the pain.
Arumugaswami: What about your children?
Sherice: My children and I are working on our relationship together. Right now, my being in the system has helped a lot. I find this a blessing in disguise. Because it has helped me to stop and think about what I really do want out of life and it has given me enough time to realize and see the road that I was taking.
Arumugaswami: How did you get the drugs?
Sherice: I never worked for the drugs, I always stole. But I would say I spent nearly two thousand a week. I forged checks, I traded.
Arumugaswami: What is your advice to kids trying drugs?
Sherice: It doesn’t seem like it affects them right now, but in the long run, it will catch up to you. Not only you come into jail but even physically. Today I suffer from it. It damages your bone marrow, and it affects your body physically. If they have children or if their loved ones are there to support them, you know; their family is not going to be there for them forever. Right now, life is too short to be pushing them away.
Arumugaswami: How old are your children?
Sherice: I have one, seven and one, five.
Arumugaswami: Who takes care of them?
Sherice: My mom and my dad.
Arumugaswami: Do they know why you are here?
Gurudeva: You have heard Sherice Pigano speak to you from her heart. We want to appreciate you for everything you had to say, Sherice. Thank you very much. Mahalo. You have been very kind for sharing yourself with everybody out there in cyberspace.