Welcome! I really do agree with Alcie. Some can control their reflux with natural remedies, but if you've already had esophagitis and the lump feeling in your throat, I'm not sure it's wise to go PPI-less.
Like Alcie, I started PPIs long, long ago, and have had no real problems with them. I wish you luck with your quest, but I would caution you to continue to consult with a doctor regarding your reflux. You can have lots of reflux and not even be aware of it...often you only feel a fraction of the reflux episodes you're having.
I hope your plan works out for you, but if you end up on PPIs don't worry about it. Some of us just can't manage without them...
Very best wishes,