Breaking the Habit
Breaking the Habit is a song by Linkin Park and it's
also a serious desire for many people addicted to drugs and
alcohol. In Linkin Park's song, Breaking the Habit
the lyrics are somewhat ambiguous as to just what the habit
is that needs to be broken.
Some have theorized that Breaking the Habit is about
lead singer, Chester Bennington, who has a history of sexual
abuse and drug use. Breaking the Habit, however, was
written by Mike Shinoda, starting on it in 1997 when Bennington
was not yet a part of the band.
As ambiguous as the song Breaking the Habit may be
regarding the specifics of the addiction, the message is clear
for many who have suffered with addiction to drugs and alcohol,
that breaking the habit is not only a desire, but an action
plan. The song starts out with the words, "Memories consume,
like opening a wound" which would suggest some trauma
the protagonist is experiencing and using some substance helping
him to escape.
This trauma may be post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
or something else that does not quite rise to that level.
Farther on in Breaking the Habit, the protagonist says
he's confused and locking himself in his room, until he breaks
his habit. This suggests that not only is this person taking
a stand against his addiction, but he's actively looking for
withdrawal from the substance in order to detox his body.
While this may be seen as a bold
move by a young person, this is also a dangerous move as many
drug and alcohol rehab centers will tell you. Detoxification from
drugs and alcohol should be accomplished under medical supervision
since some of the side effects can be life threatening.
In the bridge of Breaking the Habit, it is stated,
"I don't want to be the one, the battles always choose",
which implies the protagonist feeling out-of-control with
his addiction as most addicts in crisis are. Instead of being
able to pick his own battles, the addict most often feels
that the battles pick him instead.
In one of the most telling lines of Breaking the Habit,
the singer says, "I'll paint it on the walls, 'cause
I'm the one at fault", which indicates that he's willing
to take responsibility for the habit and that he's the one
in charge of breaking the addiction. Many addicts who enter
rehab do not yet have this willingness to take responsibility
for their own addictions. This usually comes over time. When
someone feels out-of-control with drugs or alcohol, they rarely
But, as the song indicates, taking responsibility is a positive
sign for a meaningful and lasting recovery. Linkin Park has hit
the nail on the head as far as writing an anthem for recovery
from addiction. By taking a stand against addiction and singing
about it, Linkin Park in Breaking the Habit will most likely
help many of the younger generation to break their own habits
and lead a life of recovery and sobriety.