CHARLOTTE, NC (Bruce Henderson/The Charlotte Observer) - A South Carolina woman who gouged out her own green eyes last month in a drug-fueled haze says she "convinced myself that meth would bring me even closer to God."
Kaylee Muthart, 20, recounts her descent from National Honor Society member in Anderson, South Carolina, to high school dropout and methamphetamine user in an as-told-to article in Cosmopolitan magazine.
That path took her from using marijuana to taking ecstasy to smoking, then shooting, meth. Her mother was trying to get her involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility on Feb. 6, when Muthart's world went dark.
That morning, after shooting up a large dose of meth the previous night, Muthart says she was hallucinating as she stumbled along a railroad track. Everything seemed dark and gloomy, she says, except for a white bird she believed she saw on a light post.
"I believed what was happening was real. I saw a dove," Muthart told the Anderson Independent Mail. "It was a memory of something beautiful, a white bird in the light."
In Cosmo, Muthart describes her rational for what she did next.
"It was then I remember thinking that someone had to sacrifice something important to right the world, and that person was me," she says in the article. "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."
Muthart describes plunging her fingers into her eye sockets and pulling her eyeballs out, saying "it felt like a massive struggle, the hardest thing I ever had to do." The drugs numbed the pain, she says.
A pastor and others outside a nearby chapel that caters to the homeless, addicted and needy found Muthart kneeling and screaming, eyeballs in her hands.
Muthart says she spent a week in a hospital, then transferred to a psychiatric facility where she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and began taking medications to treat it.
"She's been doing wonderfully. Each day at a time, she just gets a little better and better," Muthart's mother, Katy Tompkins, told People magazine last month. "She's getting all different kinds of treatment, but she's going to have to relearn everything. It's like she's almost starting life over again."
Muthart, who now lives with her mother, says she still wants to study marine biology in college. She's raised more than $30,000 toward a $50,000 GoFundMe.com goal to buy a service dog.
She has started to learn Braille, the Anderson Independent Mail reported, with a new sense of purpose.