A 20-year-old woman who pulled out her own eyes during a drug-induced hallucination is speaking out just a month after the horrific event permanently blinded her.
Kaylee Muthart tore out her eyes during the Feb. 6, incident in front of a Christian church in Anderson, South Carolina — a life-changing act that came as she was high on methamphetamine.
Muthart told PEOPLE this week that, after a stint in the hospital and at a psychiatric facility, she’s home, off drugs and preparing for her new reality: living without vision.
“It’s the same life, but I’m just learning everything in a new way,” she said. “Life’s more beautiful now, life’s more beautiful than it was being on drugs. It is a horrible world to live in.”
Muthart told the outlet that she had previously stopped meth before the incident, but eventually ended up back on the drug, revealing how struggles with mental health deeply impacted her life.
Then, on Feb. 6, everything came to a head as she suffered a drug-induced hallucination that led her to believe she was essentially on a God-given mission to save humanity.
“I thought everyone who had died was stuck in their graves, that God was up in Heaven alone, and that I had to sacrifice something important to be able to release everyone in the world to God,” she said. “It made the world darker, and took everything I believed in and distorted them to make me go down the path to pulling out my eyes.”
She continued, “It was scary, I didn’t understand what God wanted of me, but it made me feel a sense of righteousness that I had to be the one to do it.”
Muthart shared additional details in an article for Cosmo:
Thinking the friend I’d gotten high with had gone to church, I wandered there along a railroad track. Even though it was 10:30 in the morning, everything looked dark and gloomy apart from a light post, where I thought a white bird was perched.
It was then I remember thinking that someone had to sacrifice something important to right the world, and that person was me. I thought everything would end abruptly, and everyone would die, if I didn’t tear out my eyes immediately. I don’t know how I came to that conclusion, but I felt it was, without doubt, the right, rational thing to do immediately.
She proceeded to pull her eyes out, permanently destroying her vision.
Now, Muthart is working to reconnect with her faith and process life as a blind person. She said that, prior to her intense drug use, she had “long been a religious Christian” and felt that her earlier highs brought her closer to God.
In the end, she told PEOPLE that she’s overjoyed to have drugs out of her life.
“I’m able to be Kaylee again. I’d rather be blind and be myself than be Kaylee on drugs, and I truly mean that with my heart,” she said. “I’m Kaylee Jean Muthart, just like I was 10 years ago. Just better.”