NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Her 207th arrest, featured on NewsChannel 5 two
summers ago, was a serious wakeup call for 44-year-old Ronda Heisler, of
"I was contemplating suicide," the new and improved Ronda Heisler
admitted on Sunday.
"The night before my arrest, I remember asking God to put my children
somewhere safe and to lock me up. I knew I didn't know how to stop doing what I
One day in June of 2010, she was feeding
a lifelong addiction to drugs and alcohol; making money through prostitution;
and driving drunk with her two young daughters in the backseat. That latter
incident is what got Heisler busted once and for all, and a sentence she knew
would bring sobriety.
"I was happy to have it because I knew that meant 18 months in jail;
but I knew I couldn't drink," Heisler shared. "I knew I couldn't be
out in the public, hurting myself or someone else's family."
Today, Heisler wants to help - not hurt - any family in a life-threatening
situation like she was. Heisler credits much of her recovery to something
called Women In Recovery, a program she was enrolled in for a full year.
"I've been sober now for 21 months," Heisler said proudly.
Heisler and her two daughters, now 12 and 10, are living full-time on the
Tennessee Baptist Children's Home's Brentwood campus.
Heisler has a small, modest apartment. She currently gets part-time visitation with the girls, but the intention is for that time to flourish into full time custody. While Ronda's at work, the two young
girls spend most of their time in the care of Children's Home staffers, as
Ronda works to ease herself back into full-time motherhood.
Ronda Heisler has ambition now, and even aspires to get her GED; maybe even
take a crack at college.
"Eventually, I'd like to open up my own house for women. There's a lot
of good programs out there, but it's not enough," Heisler said.
Heisler said she'll speak to any group, office, church, or school group
who'll allow her to share her message. She'd like to serve as a role model, a
source of inspiration, for families and even addicts themselves feeling like
they're going through their personal problems alone.