Twenty-year-old South Carolina woman Kaylee Muthart made headlines last month when it was reported that she had gouged her eyes out outside a church in the city of Anderson. Having recently returned home after a month in the hospital and at a psychiatric facility, Muthart opened up to two leading publications, telling the story of how a good student had gotten addicted to methamphetamines, and how she is trying to put her life back together, despite losing her eyesight.
Speaking to Cosmopolitan’s Elizabeth Narins in an article posted on Friday, Kaylee Muthart talked about how she had started drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana not long after she had taken a break from school. At that time, she was 18-years-old, not far removed from being a straight-A student and National Honor Society member. Though she had “actively avoided” heavy drugs due to her family’s history of addiction, Kaylee said that she might have smoked a joint that was laced with cocaine or meth when she was 19. Describing the high she had felt at that time, Muthart said that the experience “made [her] feel particularly close to God.”
After avoiding the friend whom she suspected of giving her a laced joint, Kaylee Muthart then broke up with her boyfriend of two years, while coping with her personal stress by drinking, smoking marijuana, and taking Xanax on a “recreational” level. While she soon found herself a new job, she felt lonely due to the estrangement from her ex-boyfriend and other close friends, which led her to start smoking meth on a regular basis, while also taking ecstasy she obtained from a roommate she described as a drug dealer.
“I stayed up for nearly three days and experienced hallucinations I wasn’t expecting,” Muthart said, describing the initial high she felt after starting to smoke meth again in August 2017.
Talking about the days leading up to the eye-gouging incident, Kaylee Muthart told Cosmopolitan that her mother had arranged to send her to a rehabilitation facility on February 4. But on the day before the incident, she had taken a “larger dose [of meth] than [she’d] ever used before.” At around 10:30 a.m. on February 6, she was high and hallucinating, and at that point, she went to church, thinking that the friend she had smoked meth with the day before had gone there.
“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.”
The specifics of how Kaylee Muthart gouged her eyes out on that day are too graphic to detail in this article. But she explained to Cosmopolitan that she had to fight off the pastor at the church and seven or eight other men as they tried to restrain her. She was then sedated and taken to Greenville Memorial Hospital, where she woke up two days later, realizing that she was blind. She suffered severe headaches in the week she remained in the hospital, where she was “officially” diagnosed with bipolar disorder and given several forms of medication and therapy.
Separately, Kaylee Muthart spoke to People, explaining that she now has a “new state of mind,” despite the fact that she had lost her vision on that fateful day outside the church.
“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.”
Aside from concisely summarizing the story of what led to the eye-gouging incident, and describing the hallucinations she experienced at that time, Kaylee Muthart also admitted to People that she is “trying to reconnect [to] her faith,” with her mother assisting her in the healing process.
“When I do something, I go big or go home… obviously. Humor is something that gets me by, laughing, music, that day itself.”