It’s Finally Here!
I did a big thing, well I really did two things: I cut off my thumb, and I wrote a book about it.
Whoops, I Cut My Thumb Off!:
I Fought the Saw and the Saw Won
By Karissa Block
I thought I was tough. I saw myself as the girl who could move on quickly from setbacks. But after all I had been through, I hadn’t even scratched the surface. On the day I cut my thumb off with a bandsaw–doing the work I thought I was destined to do–my life changed forever.
My life path has been weird. Exciting and dark. Scary and surprising … but mostly weird. I’m alright with it now—happy even—but it wasn’t always that way.
At 14 years old, I experienced the most transformational day of my young life. I was in a fight at school with two high school girls and suffered traumatic physical injuries to my body and brain, not to mention mental and emotional devastation. I sunk, isolating myself by dropping out of school for good. I kept sinking, developing an addiction to the pills prescribed to help with my recovery. Fortunately, that only lasted a year.
I gained my strength back, my wounds healed, and I made a silent promise to never appear vulnerable again. I kept my troubles tucked away in my journals, didn’t talk openly about what had happened. I thought I was proving my toughness, when really, I was letting these events define me.
Time passed and I followed what I thought was my dream of cleaving meat as a butcher. I found myself working at an Ohio farm, far away from my Nevada home. Then literally in the time of a blink, my whole world changed … again. I cut off my thumb. Standing in front of the butcher saw, I remember seeing my own thumb on the ground, not attached to the rest of my hand.
This, right here, felt like the ultimate dead end.
I underwent reattachment surgery and therapy—physical and emotional. Back to healing. I continued writing and it became crystal clear that the Karissa who cut off her own thumb had been living as a wounded version of herself.
For years I was designing a life that could prove I was the tough girl that couldn’t be broken—not by two high school girls, not by addiction, not by shitty circumstances. I detached myself from the childhood wounds that were still bleeding … even years later.
My Healing Story Sparked a New Idea …
So here I am, continuing to explore life beyond the damage, eager to connect with others who may feel defined by old wounds too. S0 eager, that I developed a new project. I call it The New Story Project, a collection of interviews I am conducting with people who have experienced life-changing trauma but refuse to be defined by them.