Here is my response to the statement below:
"I am going to have bad days, days when I slip into anger, resentment, and self-pity. Days that I may even scream at wife and kids but I have not lost my sobriety for that. BUT, if I act out, I am basically back to the starting line. I cannot emphasize enough how important not acting out is for me. It keeps me positive even when experiencing challenging days."
I appreciate this person's opinion and see where he's coming from, but I don't think it a universal truth because I don't think it applies to me - assuming he is using the euphemism "act out" to refer to masturbation.
For whatever its worth, I perceive myself as losing my sobriety as soon as I start using escapism methods. It doesn't even have to be lust. If I start watching a TV show or reading a secular novel for the purposes of escaping (and for the last few years there's almost no other possible motive for me to want to do those things), I've already lost my sobriety because I've stopped living life and started cowering and hiding, living in the world of denial and zarus. If I remain in that world it's possible I might end up using lust as an escape in a variety of ways, but my internal sobriety will have been lost long before that particular external manifestation of it.
For this reason, I suggest that GYE provide two separate sobriety counters - one for the official GYE sobriety rules, and the other for my personal rules, knowing what works for me.
Thank you and please keep those chizuk emails coming.