She may be permanently blind, but Kaylee Muthart is sober and at peace three months after gouging her own eyes out.
"It, actually, feels really nice," Muthart told People. "The way it worked out is the way God had it work out, that's just the way it is... but I'd rather for it to have happened than to still be stuck in that world."
An intense, laced methamphetamine-induced hallucination led Muthart to rip out her own eyes on the morning of February 6 — a few days before she was supposed to check into a drug rehabilitation center. She underwent emergency surgery on her vacant orbital sockets, then spent time in both physical and psychiatric recovery facilities.
The 20-year-old returned to her mother's South Carolina home clean and sober about a month later.
"I actually feel like a person," Muthart told People. "I feel like myself, and I don't feel like I'm chasing something."
Muthart credits her faith for her positive outlook on life and the new challenges she faces. The mobility and orientation training sessions she underwent — like learning how to use the senses to move around — were successful, but she conceded the process was trying and exasperating.
"I'm a very optimistic person, and I went in with an optimistic outlook," Muthart said. "But at some points, you're going to fall down. That's just life."
Muthart even picked up some new skills in the process. She can now play Coldplay songs like "Clocks" and "The Scientist" on both piano and guitar.
She also says her dreams are more vivid now than ever before.
"My dreams are colorful, and it's like being able to see again," she said. "They can be strange, and switch scenes really quickly. But it's comforting because it's colorful. I like sleeping a lot because it's like I can see."
She will soon begin a three-week course at the South Carolina Commission of the Blind to further hone her newfound mobility skills and in July, Muthart is scheduled for the first of two surgeries that will prepare her eye sockets for prosthetics.
After the procedures, she hopes to work toward becoming a marine biologist.
"There's definitely something inside of me that wants to say, 'Well, what else can I do now that I'm blind?'" she said. "But something just cries out deep inside of me, 'Go for your goal. Do what you've always wanted to do. Show everybody that you can do it.'"