It seems like "something" is not necessary here. Can I just say "I had to go like this"? What's the difference?
"Something like" is a phrase that means "similar to". Therefore, "something like" is used when referring to something that is an approximation, whereas "like this" is used when referring to something exact. Ex: My dog looks something like this dog, except my dog is shorter. Ex: My dog looks like this dog, they are the same breed.