Recovery from addiction to alcohol and\/or prescription or street drugs is a long process. It can be overwhelming to think about. Many addicts cringe just thinking about the initial withdrawal process and never follow through to get started on the road to recovery. For the ones who do\u2014and perhaps you or one of your loved ones are among them\u2014here are 12 reasons or R\u2019s for recovery that can serve as a good reminder of why it\u2019s a good path to follow. Why are there R\u2019s instead of some other letter? Recovery begins with an R, and that\u2019s what this article is all about\u2014how to keep on the path of recovery for the rest of your life. 1. Recognize You can\u2019t go it alone. Recovery is a tough and complicated process, depending on the substance you\u2019ve been abusing (alcohol, street and\/or prescription drugs, polysubstance abuse), the length of time you\u2019ve been addicted, physical and mental factors, your age, and other considerations. You may bounce back quickly if you haven\u2019t been addicted for long, or it may take a considerable amount of time to go through the initial detoxification (removal of the chemical substances from your body). Recognize that you need the assistance of others during the recovery process. Trained professionals, your family, and your support groups are there to help you. 2. Remember Recovery is a lifelong effort. It isn\u2019t something that just happens and you can go on with your life as if it never occurred. You need to remember that recovery lasts forever. It only takes one time for you to \u201cjust have one\u201d hit or drink to catapult you into relapse. Then you\u2019ll have to start the whole process over again. Keep in mind that once in recovery, always in recovery. 3. Realize During treatment for drugs and\/or alcohol, you learned that you have inner strengths. In recovery, it\u2019s important to realize that you have this strong determination and courage to continue with your recovery. You\u2019ll need to be able to tap into these strengths and skills on an ongoing basis, so use them. 4. Register You have many reasons why you entered treatment in the first place. Keep this list handy so that you can register in your mind all the positives you hope to achieve: to live a full and productive life, to have healthy and loving relationships, to progress in your job and to improve your financial situation, to continue to achieve better health, and many more. 5. Remove Of course, you\u2019ll need to remove any temptations that still exist in your life. This includes complete removal of any alcohol or drugs still in your home, where you work, in your car, or other hiding places. It\u2019s best to have someone else comb through these areas and conduct the removal, as you may not be strong enough to do so. The idea is to get rid of all these potential traps that could lure you back into using. If they\u2019re not there, it\u2019s easier to remain strong. 6. Reapply During treatment, through individual counseling, group therapy, and educational meetings, you learned specific coping skills and techniques to change your behavior. Reapply these skills and techniques to help keep you strong. As you use them, continually refine them to be even more effective. 7. Rearrange It\u2019s important to make time for yourself. You need a healthy body and mind, and that means you have to rearrange your schedule to include blocks of time to devote to hobbies, sports, relaxation, and being with friends. 8. Renounce Old so-called friends will undoubtedly call or arrive unannounced, trying to convince you to come out and party. They will be very convincing, even earnest, but they don\u2019t have your best interests at heart. You need to renounce these negative relationships and get them out of your life forever. Until they, too, enter treatment and embrace recovery, they have no productive place in your life. 9. Remain Strong and loving relationships are the rock of recovery. Of course, you can be successful in your recovery without them, but there\u2019s nothing like a loving partner to reaffirm your commitment to staying clean and sober. If you don\u2019t have a significant other, don\u2019t despair. Love will come if you let it. Open your mind and your heart and be available to love. Love yourself first. You deserve it. 10. Relish Following treatment and a return to your life, you\u2019ll have a strong support network in your 12-step and other groups. These may include Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, and\/or community support groups, groups affiliated with your church, and others. Rejoice in the support your network provides you. They are your lifeline to ongoing and successful recovery. They are people just like you who are embracing a new life. 11. Renew While you go about your day-to-day life, it\u2019s vital that you renew your commitment to your ongoing recovery. Tell yourself that you are a good person, that you have embraced a clean and sober life, and that you intend to fulfill your commitment to yourself by sticking to your resolve. Make your commitment renewal a mantra, like a prayer, that you say to yourself each morning and evening. Reinforcement helps by strengthening your inner core, reaffirming your resolve. It makes each day a little easier and each night more peaceful. 12. Rejoice Finally, rejoice in the fact that you are in recovery. This is a significant and life-changing opportunity, and one that you did with the help of others who love and care about you. Every day from this day forward is a testament to your ongoing recovery. Celebrate this and renew your commitment to staying clean and sober.