There were emotional scenes in tonight’s EastEnders as Honey Mitchell (Emma Barton) spoke honestly to Billy Mitchell (Perry Fenwick) about why she had to leave E20 to deal with her eating disorder. While she assured the children it wouldn’t be for long, might this lead to a permanent exit?
Honey’s toxic relationship with cheating dentist Adam Bateman (Stephen Rahman-Hughes ) ground down her self-esteem.
She might have given him a good clattering with a bin to end their time together, but the scars remain.
His continued snipes at Honey concerning her appearance began to grind down her self-belief.
And his cruel and untruthful words triggered the return of an eating disorder she struggled with when she was younger
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Honey has now resolved it’s time to deal with her condition and had decided to leave Albert Square.
In moving scenes with Billy, she explained why she must go.
To start, Billy commended her strength: “You admitting that you got a problem, facing up to it, that’s a massive thing.”
Honey, though, was wracked with self-doubt: “I just don’t know if I can do this.”
It was then she declared she needed time away, and time away from her family: “I’m going to stay with my Auntie Caroline. On my own.”
Billy was unable to understand why she was going to leave: “You said we were going to work through this together. You don’t have to do this on your own.”
Honey explained why she had changed tack: “I know, but I can’t stay here, Billy, and play happy families. You see, it’s the kids. It’s the kids that matter. I need you to focus on them. I can’t have you worrying about where I am and what I’m doing.”
Despite Billy pleading with her not to leave, Honey told him why it was necessary: “I do. I do, Billy, because I need to learn to love myself again.”
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Billy was desperate for her to stay and stay with the family, telling her how much he loved her.
It was this love, Honey explained, which meant that she had to spend time away: “Because you care too much for me, Billy.”
After Billy told Honey he loved her, she replied: “I know, I know you do. And we’ll always have that love for each other. Billy, you love me too much to give me the help I need.”
The pair embraced, both aware that something had to change to help Honey recover.
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Later, she told the children she would be leaving for a while.
Not that she told the whole truth – Honey and Billy told them that her Auntie Caroline was unwell.
The pair spun a white lie that Honey was going to care for Auntie Caroline, making a pledge to the kids, saying: “I promise it won’t be for long.”
Might Honey stay away for longer than she promised as she deals with her illness? Might this mark the start of a long absence from the Square?
EastEnders continues on BBC One on Monday at 8pm.
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