October once was my favorite month. Carving pumpkins, drinking hot cider with my siblings on Saturday afternoons, and weekend softball tournaments with my dad cheering me on. Summer was a time for spreading out and escaping, but October always signified a time when I could squeeze my family in. But then there were the dark underbellies of October. Panic attacks before homecoming dances because I was worried I wouldn’t look perfect and hadn’t eaten in days because I needed something to control. Staying up late after my parents went to bed so I could sneak outside to check every pumpkin because I was anxious and thought our house would burn down from a stray candle. But those were past Octobers.