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It has been five years since Kaylee Muthart had the ability to see the world around her.
That's because at age 20, the former straight-A student ripped out her eyeballs during a meth-induced psychotic episode.
Kaylee was convinced she would save the world with her grisly act of self-mutilation – but the brutal reality was that she permanently lost her sight instead.
READ MORE: 'I served with Britain's most vile mum in monster jail – but found way to keep sane'
Now, five years later, she spoke exclusively with the Daily Star from her home in Florida where she lives with her boyfriend Alex George.
And asked whether she contemplates what life may have looked like if it wasn’t for that bleak day, she said: “That is the one thing I ponder a lot. I try not to think too deeply about it but I guess it does happen.
“I was probably thinking about that last night. But I guess when I open the window or crack the window for my cat in the morning, I wonder what it looks like out there.
“So when I open the window and stuff I think maybe God will help me see everything I have missed one day.
“I would like to see my loved ones get older, see what colour my cat is, I got him after I went blind.
“It’s like, imagine someone explaining to you what a character on a TV show looked like. They could tell you all the different attributes but until you look at them you will never know, you just won’t.
“Because I have seen before, my mind will not accept not seeing. They are called visual hallucinations and I kind of think of that as God not letting me be in the darkness.
“Even when you are blind it is not dark. I visualise like silhouettes of what I think is there. If I reach for it and it is incorrect it will change like that.
“It is weird to explain but I know what I am talking about because I have seen before. I get nervous trying to explain it because I think nobody will know what I am talking about given how I lost my sight.
“Will they think I am crazy?”
Kaylee, who is now 25, has shown remarkable resilience in recent years.
She currently washes dishes at a Jimmy Hula’s restaurant but wants to work as a masseuse for a less demanding job where she can pick her own hours.
The recovering meth addict, who is originally from South Carolina, has also been to blind school and is finishing her high school diploma online so she can go to college to study neurobiology.
Braille is another skill she learned and she has mastered technologies to help her communicate too.
Another big achievement was getting clean after going to rehab.
And remembering her first experience of drugs, she said: “When I got on drugs the first time it was because a guy wanted to get with me basically and I didn’t realise it was in the weed.
“Once I knew that feeling, the next time I got to access it, I was going through some stuff so I was like screw it, I hadn't been through the mental and emotional maturity to be able to prevent myself from that.”
She has now been sober for years and incredibly feels that going blind was perhaps a blessing.
Explaining why, she said: “I know (drug addictions) are a very long journey and mine wasn’t even that long so I can’t imagine people who have gone through it even longer.
“Sometimes I think it’s a blessing that I am blind because even nowadays, if I ever do get a drug craving, which is very little, but in addiction when you have used the needle, you imagine the blood going into the syringe and that is an eyesight temptations.
“You can’t really do it blind, you could do it I’m sure, but I don’t know if it would be smart.”
Three years ago Kaylee had prosthetic eyes fitted which were made to look as close to her old ones as possible.
And she said it was little things that have brought her happiness in recent times, despite all the challenges.
“If it wasn’t for God and my loved ones I don’t know where I would be,” she said.
“My cat too, coming home to him every day. He is a big joy in my life. I actually did pray to get a cat that wouldn’t use the bathroom all over the house because being blind that really isn’t fun!
“I also have a guitar and I am planning on getting a piano. I only know like two songs on each but that is a passion of mine and singing too, so I go to karaoke on Monday nights.”
And when she is out and about with Alex, strangers often ask how she went blind.
Despite sometimes not wanting to get into it, she also feels it's her duty to be truthful, in case her story can help others.
She said: “I always answer it if they ask.
“I am not going to say there hasn’t been a couple of times where I haven’t. If I am not in the right headspace I might say it’s a drug accident or drug related.
“But definitely I am more open than not and I typically always explain it because that is what I feel I am supposed to do.
“I share what I have gone through to help somebody else, even if I think I don’t need to share this or I don’t feel like doing it right now, everyone has those moments, but typically I power through and it always turns out for the best.
“Someone always ends up feeling better in their own misery.”
Kaylee was diagnosed with bipolar in 2018 and she had a mental breakdown after a breakup.
It was then that she sought out the high she experienced the first time around which eventually led to the mutilation.
Recounting her experiences to Cosmopolitan, she said: “I was hallucinating, so my memories are fuzzy. 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.”
She added: “I pushed my thumb, pointer, and middle finger into each eye. I gripped each eyeball, twisted, and pulled until each eye popped out of the socket — it felt like a massive struggle, the hardest thing I ever had to do. Because I could no longer see, I don't know if there was blood. But I know the drugs numbed the pain.”
And asked what it is like talking about such trauma all these years on, she added: “It has been five years and in society that is a monumental time period.
“When I talk about it I get nervous, it doesn’t physically mess with me but it definitely causes a stir in my mind because it is trauma.
“I actually passed out before I went blind when I was sighted. I couldn’t see for 30 to 60 seconds. I went completely black, blacker than actual blindness is, and that was scarier than being blind for these past five years.”
The recovering addict is now writing a book called Kaylee’s Story and she is also beginning to open up about her experiences on TikTok.
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