Tina Nash was left completely blind after the "premeditated, sustained and vicious attack" last year.
Shane Jenkin, 33, from Hayle in Cornwall, has admitted GBH with intent at Truro Crown Court. He will be sentenced next month.
Ms Nash, who also suffered a broken jaw and nose in the attack, said in a statement afterwards she was glad he had "at least taken responsibility for changing my life forever".
The 31-year-old mother-of-two said: "I truly feel that, when he was strangling me, he was trying to murder me.
"He has taken everything from me and robbed me of one of the most precious things in life - my sight.
"I miss the things which people take for granted the most, such as seeing the sky and the sea."
She added that she had been left feeling "buried alive, claustrophobic and not in control of my life" by the assault.
"I actually look forward to going to sleep because in my dreams I have sight. It's when I wake up that the truth hits home," she said.
"Some days I just don't want to get up but I'm determined to provide a future for my children and this is my motivation."
Jenkin, who has the word "outlaw" tattooed on his forearm, is said by the people who know him to have an explosive, unpredictable temper.
He was banned for five years from pubs in Penzance after attacking a policeman in March 2010.
One barman who asked to remain anonymous said: "What he did to Tina he tried to do to other people - I know someone else he had a fight with and tried to do that to him but he was 6ft 4in and could defend himself.
"He could just turn and go from being nice and polite and jovial then bang, it was like flicking a switch. I saw it on several occasions.
"I have seen him talking to people, having a laugh to stamping on them on the floor."
Another man said he had thrown Jenkin out of pubs during the past 10 years and believed he was not a "full ticket".
Detective Inspector Chris Strickland, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said Jenkin carried out a "premeditated, sustained and vicious attack on a defenceless woman".
"Our view is that Jenkin deliberately strangled Tina into a state of unconsciousness in order that he could inflict these terrible injuries," he said.
"Tina's life will never be the same and her lifelong disability will be a constant reminder of the attack.
"Her injuries were so shocking that friends who saw her soon after the incident found it difficult to stay in the room.
"Tina has displayed incredible strength, however, and has shown great desire to be able to care for her two children despite not being able to see them as they grow up.
"We would publicly like to thank the members of the public from Penzance and Hayle who helped us locate Jenkin when he fled following the attack. Their help was invaluable to our inquiry."
Lisa Nicholls, 28, helped run the charity group Justice For Tina, which raised £1,500 for her after the attack.
Ms Nicholls said: "It is good he has pleaded guilty so Tina doesn't have the trauma of having to stand up in court.
"When we all heard what had happened to Tina, we just wanted to help.
"The town was in complete shock. It's a little tourist town where this sort of thing doesn't happen."