What does Breaking the Habit mean?

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Linkin Park: Breaking the Habit Meaning

Song Released: 2004

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Breaking the Habit Lyrics

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Memories consume
Like opening the wound
I'm picking me apart again
You all assume
I'm safe here in my room
Unless I try to start again

I don't want to be the one
The battles always choose
'Cause inside I realize
That I'm the...


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    Jul 24th, 2006 7:17pm report

    I find that the song has a meaning for almost every addiction. I talks about doing something, whether it is cutting or doing drugs, to hopefully forget the pain and hurt.

    The best part in the song, personally, I find is:
    "i'm picking me apart again
    you all assume
    i'm safe here in my room
    unless I try to start again"
    to me it talks about that you're pretending to the whole world and everyone seems to buy it. They think that you're okay, but they don't know how hurt you are from the inside.
    It's almost like nobody cares about you.

    The song also talks about helplessness.
    "cause inside I realize
    that I'm the one confused"


    "I don't know what's worth fighting for
    or why I have to scream
    i don't know why I instigate
    and say what I don't mean
    i don't know how I got this way
    i know it's not alright"

    you don't know what to do except for the thing what you do, drugs or self harm. You feel helpless with yourself and there doesn't seems to be a way out.

    And as last it can also talk about suicide. It's just the way how you see it and how it feels to you personally. I find everyone can recognize themselves in this song. Mostly because everyone battles an addiction. No matter if it are cigarettes, alcohol, drugs or self harm.


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    Sep 1st, 2006 9:33am report

    Well, now that everyone realizes that it's not about chester... Here's my thoughts. I beleive this song is about suicide. Breaking the habit = killing yourself. Here are some lines that support my theory.

    Memories consume-picking me apart again: this person is remembering all the bad things in their life and they're (obviously) picking themselves apart.

    You all assume-unless I try to start again: everyone thinks this person is normal and happy, but when they're alone, they fall apart. This has happened before.

    Chorus: this person doesn't know why they act the way they do, and they can't stand it anymore, so they're going to end their life.

    Clutching my cure-catch my breath again: they are holding the instrument of their death closely, trying to think of another way out.

    I hurt much more-i have no options left again: they can't think of any other solution because they hurt so much. This also supports that they have tried again.

    Bridge: possibly painting the walls with their blood literally or figuratively. And "i'll never fight again and this is how it ends" means they are ending their life.

    That's my interpretation :)


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    Nov 13th, 2005 11:34am report

    Videos are not the best way of interpreting a song. Take 'Wake Me Up When September Ends' for example:

    The actual song is about Billie Joe's father dying of throat/lung cancer (can't remember which). The video is either about 9/11 or going to war. It's how the director interprets the song.

    'Pain' by Jimmy Eat World is the same. The song is about drug addiction, but the video is about a guy making an ass of himself.

    Breaking The Habit was actually a song Mike was trying to write, but the lyrics were either too cheesy or too dark and melancholy. He finished it, and it became about a drug addiction. Unfortunately, Chester had only just come out of rehab for his coke addiction and broke down crying whenever he sang it. This was at the time of Hybrid Theory. The band put it to one side.
    When they came to making Meteora, they made an instrumental track, which was 10 minutes long and in 6/8, but they didn't like it. They convinced Mike to turn it into a full song, with verses and choruses. Mike found the lyrics for the song they had put aside, and they fit almost perfect. Chester had grown more out of his addiction, and could perform it without crying.
    And so you have the history of 'Breaking The Habit'.


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    Oct 16th, 10:50am report

    I just want to talk about the lines that can have more than one meaning.

    "Cluching my cure." He could be talking about a blade that he uses to cut himself with, a drug, or a gun.

    "Picking me apart again." This could be referring to either cutting himself or tearing himself down.

    "I'll paint it on the walls." He could be talking about literally painting on the walls that he's breaking his habit, or he could be figuratively saying that his blood will be painted on the walls after he shoots himself.

    "I'm breaking the habit tonight." This could mean he's stopping his bad habits for good (cutting and/or drugs) Or it could mean he's going to kill himself.


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    Oct 3rd, 10:02am report

    it about chester battling drugs addiction and sucidal thoughts- i believe if people heard this song sooner chester wont of killed himself its sad really but like i say to everybody this what drugs do messed you up and in the end you end up killing yourself like kurt cobain- i know how this feels in this song im still battling severe depression and aniexty myself so i know feels to feel alone and sucidal- i still feel like this from time to time so i know it hard i thought of giving up so many time but the only thing keeping me alive is the love from family and my husband and my good friend micheal who help though the darker time without them i wouldnt be here and me too would of commited sucide


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    Aug 2nd, 8:00pm report

    It has different meanings to different people. .
    It is an amazing song lyrically. .
    R.I.P. Chester. .320#


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    May 4th, 2018 5:21am report

    it about abuse sucidal thought, depression leading to sucide and self image issue a cry for help - i went this reminds me all shit i went thought also make sad that chester kill himself it shows how depression can kill but i hope at peace know he doent have suffer no more RIP CHESTER you death as not gone in vein i hope people see now this real and hope get help right away because you not alone look at me i got help and it helps so if you are depressed and/or sucidal GET HELP FAST


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    Apr 9th, 2018 4:55pm report


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    Jan 23rd, 2018 1:26pm report

    Clutch cure- Grasp gun, knife , rope pills etc.

    Break Habit- To Destroy yourself. (Destroy the habit) You are living as if the habits define you.


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    Aug 13th, 2014 8:38am report

    This song made me stop cutting when I first heard it. It has powerful meaning


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    Oct 2nd, 2013 10:17am report

    This song is about breaking your fucking habits regardless of being good or bad.


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    Mar 31st, 2013 3:54pm report

    "Mike had been trying to write a song around this lyrical idea for over five years. He tried this theme a number of times, but nothing seemed to do the song justice. Meanwhile, during the process of putting together this album, Mike began working on an interlude, crossing a digitally manipulated beat with strings and piano. Unexpectedly, Brad and Joe suggested that Mike turn the two minute interlude into a full song. Tentatively titled 'Drawing,' the piece was extended to three minutes and 16 seconds when Mike took it home to write lyrics. In less than two hours, the lyrics that he had been trying to put together for years fell into place. With some finishing touches, live piano, and live strings the song was finally complete- six years in the making."
    -Meteora Special Edition


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    Dec 25th, 2012 12:03am report

    Well, there are a few different ways to look at this song:

    1.) If you just go by the lyrics, it could be about a guy who is desperate to beat his drug addiction. It's made him completely confused and there's probably a whole lot of self-hatred coming from him. As for the chorus, where he "Breakes the Habit," you could either look at that as him finally getting rid of his drugs, or he could be committing suicide. Whichever way you want to look at it from that perspective.

    2.) If you have background knowledge on the band/song, then you are well aware that the song is about Chester, one of the lead singers of the band who did have a problem with drugs.Obviously, he isn't dead, so that kind of puts a hitch in thinking that "Breaking the Habit" means suicide. If it is about him, then I'm going to have to guess that it's about him checking into rehab or something. That part is open to interpretation, if you ask me.

    or, 3.) If you listen to this song while watching the video, then you KNOW that the chorus means suicide. In it, you see Chester's dead body after he jumped off a building, (apparently in Tokyo, seeing as how the video is done in anime format,)and goes on to show the stories of others who have slightly different problems, (i.e., a girl who is clinically depressed because her mother apparently abuses her; a woman whose husband or boyfriend or something is cheating on her, which she walks in on, and so on.) Then again, you could kind of guess all along that it was really about suicide.
    "I don't know what's worth fighting for,"
    "I don't know how I got this way,"
    "I'll never be alright,"
    "So I'm breaking the habit..."
    That repeats a few times, and look at it! I don't know what's worth fighting for: a common problem for drug addicts; it lends to his confusion. I don't know how I got this way: everyone's confused about how they got hooked on drugs once they do. I'll never be alright, or I know it's not alright: giving himself a reason why he should kill himself. So I'm breaking the habit, I'm breaking the habit tonight: pretty much wrapping up his life, or his death. It's pretty obvious what happened after that.

    So yeah, several different ways that you can interpret this. But the recurring theme in all of them seems to be suicide, so that's the explination that I tend to stick with. Believe whatever you what to about it though; it's a song, it's supposed to be open to interpretation.


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    Nov 28th, 2012 11:33am report

    To me, this is one of those songs with slightly ambiguous lyrics that seem to bring up whatever you relate with most at the time. When I heard it, it strongly brought to mind self-harm and suicide.

    "I'm picking me apart again"

    When you really hate yourself, you start tearing yourself down until there's nothing left, and it feels like it's all true--but there's a part of you that knows it's yourself saying those things, picking yourself apart.

    "You all assume I'm safe here in my room
    Unless I try to start again"

    Flatmates, family, friends... they assume you're okay, you're just quiet, in your room, doing whatever it is you do. Unless they know you've self-harmed before. Then, even if you say you've quit, they might think you're starting it again, when you're quiet for too long.

    "I don't want to be the one
    The battles always choose
    'Cause inside I realize
    That I'm the one confused"

    Here, the speaker says he's always in the middle of battles, but he doesn't choose them--they choose him. He feels like a pawn, helpless, caught in the middle of everything.

    "I don't know what's worth fighting for
    Or why I have to scream
    I don't know why I instigate
    And say what I don't mean
    I don't know how I got this way
    I know it's not alright"

    Things are getting to him, and the cracks are starting to show. He snaps at people when he doesn't really mean to, and he always feels like screaming. He doesn't know what's happened to him to make him like this. He doesn't excuse his behavior either. He knows it's not alright. He knows he's not alright.

    "So I'm breaking the habit
    I'm breaking the habit tonight"

    So he's come to a solution... a way to stop himself from constantly hurting the people around him like that.

    "Clutching my cure
    I tightly lock the door
    I try to catch my breath again
    I hurt much more
    Than anytime before
    I had no options left again"

    It's unbearable. Everything is unbearable. He's got what he needs to do the deed. There's no other way out. This time, when he sings the chorus, there's a difference:

    "I'll never be alright"

    He'll never be able to change, it's hopeless. And yet, "I'm breaking the habit tonight."

    "I'll paint it on the walls
    'Cause I'm the one at fault
    I'll never fight again
    And this is how it ends"

    He will choose to die because he's the one at fault, the one hurting everyone else. He admits his guilt, willing to "paint it on the walls" that he surrenders. It's over.

    "I'll never be alright
    I'm breaking the habit tonight."


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    Jun 3rd, 2012 6:48pm report

    Basicaly, the song is about suicide, about how you feel when you're out of options, and you give up of your life.

    "Memories consume
    Like opening the wound
    I'm picking me apart again"
    *The memories are causing suffering, he doesn't like those memories, and every time they come he feels like openning his scars*

    "You all assume
    I'm safe here in my room
    Unless I try to start again"
    *Now he is talking about how the others see him, assuming he is ok, when he's actually in suffer*

    "I don't want to be the one
    The battles always choose
    'Cause inside I realize
    That I'm the one confused"
    *He is tired of what he is going through, and he knows that it is his fault*

    "I don't know what's worth fighting for
    Or why I have to scream
    I don't know why I instigate
    And say what I don't mean"
    *he lost the will to live, his life has no meaning anymore*

    "I don't know how I got this way
    I know it's not alright
    So I'm breaking the habit
    Breaking the habit
    *He doesn't know what happened to him, and he is going to suicide (break the habit)*

    "Clutching my cure
    I tightly lock the door
    I try to catch my breath again"
    *This is the moment of the suicide, he locks the door, try to keep calm(catch his breath), and his cure is the suicide*

    "I hurt much more
    Than anytime before
    I had no options left again"
    *Despite the fact that everyone thinks he's allright, he's worse than ever, and out of options*

    "I'll paint it on the walls
    'Cause I'm the one at fault
    I'll never fight again
    And this is how it ends"
    *He will show to everyone that he is the on at fault, and after he's dead he won't ever have to fight again, it will be how it ends*

    "But now I have some clarity
    To show you what I mean"
    *The last chorus changes, and he's sayning that in the end he found a way to show his point*

    Hope you enjoyed :)


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    May 29th, 2012 5:07am report

    I actually think its more literal than people think. It just about people who speak without meaning, and cant real picture themselves on the inside because they don't know who they really are, so they say what they can to get through the day and realize this, but don't know what to do about, and they even question how they became like that. Such as speaking without thinking on complete habit, and instigating people unintentionally.


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    Feb 3rd, 2012 2:33pm report

    this song is about some one (chester ) going through a difficult time in his life. like i think tht the writer wants to make a point the they have messed up and their starting over again. and their...Breaking the Habit...


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    Jan 22nd, 2012 1:17pm report

    You can interpretate as a drug addicted or as a suicide song. If you don't know the background of the singer and you would have not known all the words, you would say: "Hey, this song is about a dude who has given up all options and try to break his habit (kill himself).
    On the other hand, you could say it is about drug addiction. It is a very bad habit. He says: You all assume, I'm safe here in my room. "Unless I try to start again" .Cause inside I realize, that I'm the one confused, and I don't know how I got this way.

    "I'll paint it on the walls
    'Cause I'm the one at fault."
    In this sentence he want to make clear that he wants to make it public, what kind of habit he had, and say that he's the one at fault. He's the one who is guilty for himself. And he wants it never again, so this is the moment that it will end.

    Conclusion: You can interpretate in on two ways, one, suicide, two, drug addiction. I think it is very nice if you can make a song which you can interpretate differently.
    The best sentence which makes it clear after you've heard the song is the title itself. Breaking the habit. If you heard about the battles, and says that he don't want to fight again(against bullies) so he says, and this is how it ends, so he'll break the habit of living!
    The other side shows us that it could be about drug addiction.
    So it's your dicision.

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