Yup, I got locked out of my apartment yesterday. The irony of it all was that I was leaving my humble abode to save money on delivery fees. I was originally ordering food through an app but decided I could use the walk and it would save me a little money.

That was until I forgot my keys.

In an instant, I closed the door, it locked and I realized I didn’t have my keys. Panic ensued! Noooooooooo!

I pulled my credit card out of my pocket and totally tried to open the door with the card. You know, like the stuff you see in movies?! Yea, it didn’t work and even though I watched several youtubes, the technique did nothing except ruin the edge of my credit card. Seriously, it’s now mangled.

I slumped onto the floor in my hallway and I was taken back to a very bad moment in my life from several years ago. It started flashing before my eyes. I could remember so many details of that day.

This is that story…

I opened my eyes and there was a searing pain in my head. I felt wet and cold and didn’t quite understand why. Where was I? There was carpet beneath me but it was very hard. I didn’t recognize the pattern at first but then….I realized I was laying in the hallway of my apartment complex.

I mustered up the courage to sit up. My body ached and I was reminded of the pounding in my head again. “Fuuuuuuuck, why did I drink so much last night?” a question I had asked myself all too often lately. I stood up and checked my pockets and purse that was nearby for my keys.

My keys….they were missing. I understood why I was now just laying in the open hallway. Fuck, how many of my neighbors saw me just laying out here. How embarrassing! I quickly stuffed those feelings down inside myself because right now, they weren’t helpful. I needed a plan.

I pulled my phone out of my purse and it only had 5% charge. I checked my text messages to see where I had been and if anyone was looking for me – the phone died.

I slumped down onto the floor with my head in my hands. I was going to have to buy a charger for my phone, a change of clothing and find a source of electricity to charge my phone so I could call a locksmith.

I checked my bank account and there wasn’t much money left. How was I going to afford all of this. Fuck why did my head hurt so bad.

I walked to a local drug store where I bought the cheapest phone charger I could find and a dress I dug out of the clothing section (who knew they sold clothing at these places and side note, this dress was awful).

I went to McDonalds from there to change in the bathroom, plug in my phone and attempt to eat something. When my screen popped back on I saw text messages. I checked my uber app to see where I had been.

Then I remembered. I drove my car to meet up with some friends (I had already been drinking). I continued drinking with my friends and lost consciousness sometime around 8 or 9pm. The rest of the night is total darkness. I took an uber home but how the fuck did I get into the gate and front door without my keys. Ugh, no more of that for now.

I searched for a locksmith. It was 7am. If I called them now, I’d get hit with a huge fee. I’d wait until they were open. 10am. I would call then.

Next I goggled when my favorite liquor store would open. I just needed to drink a little bit to get through this hangover. Hair of the dog sort of scenario. I never thought I’d be “that person” drinking liquor from a brown bag, but that was about to happen.

The locksmith arrived. He looked at me with so much pity I could feel his embarrassment for me. Then the bad news….it was going to be over $500 to get me back into my apartment. He was going to have to open all 4 locks (i had a security door on my apartment with a deadbolt and doorknob lock and then my door also had a deadbolt and a doorknob lock. I had locked all 4 before I left).

I checked my bank account….barely enough to cover it. Fuck! How the hell was I going to make it to payday this time. Think about it later Nicole, deal with this first.

I sat there fighting back tears and vomit as the alcohol I drank in the alley behind my house did not help at all. I was already sick.

He let me in and I immediately ran to my bathroom and puked up what felt like my entire soul. You can hear EVERYTHING that happens in that bathroom so the poor locksmith just stood there waiting for me to finish and compose myself.

I came out of the bathroom and couldn’t even look him in the eye. I handed him my ATM card and he ran it….decline. Again….decline. I call my bank and authorize the transaction….decline.

He offers to drive me to the bank to get cash. I try my card at the outside atm, decline so I walk inside. Mind you, I still look like death, warmed up. I get the money from my account and walk back outside and the locksmith is gone.

What the fuck? Where did he go? I pull my phone from my purse and I’ve missed his call. I call him back and he’s yelling at me! “I’m back at your apartment now and the cops are on their way”.

Wait, what, why? I’m standing there clutching the last of my money to pay this guy for this service and he’s calling the cops on me? Fuck my goddamn fucking head!!!!

I start to walk back to my apartment. It’s at least 2 miles away but what else can I do. I’m terrified to be walking through hollywood with $500 on me, in this fucking stupid ass dress and a pounding in my head that is growing worse by the minute.

I see a familiar vehicle. Its the locksmith. He’s come back to pick me up. I get in and hand him the money and apologize for the confusion. It feels like the longest 2 mile ride home of my life. It’s so awkward and I just keep reminding myself that it’s almost over.

He drops me off at my apartment and assures me that he did not call the police and that he was just afraid I was trying to run. I thank him for his service and walk back into my apartment.

As I lay on my sofa I start to cry. I start thinking about how stupid I’ve been. How I feel like I’m losing control of myself, how I waste so much money. But most of all, how sad of a human I am and nobody knows.

I gather up all the liquor in my apartment and I pour it all out. Goodbye bottle of Jameson, goodbye bottle of vodka from the freezer, goodbye new bottle I just purchased to hopefully cure the pain.

I tell my partner for probably the 10th time since we started dating that Im done drinking. I want to stop. This is it. I can’t do this anymore.

But I started drinking again within a few weeks……and this was a couple years ago.

As I sat there last night locked out of my apartment, all of this flashed back to me with such vivid detail. I started to beat myself up about it. How could I be so careless. Two steps forward one step back.

Then I realized that this is just an honest mistake. I can’t let my past lockout send me into a tailspin of negativity that makes me negate all the good work I’ve been doing in the last 7 and a half months since getting sober.

I took a deep breath, called a locksmith last night and paid my bill. It was more money then I had expected it would be but fortunately I have set myself up with jobs and side gigs to be able to absorb the cost and it not be catastrophic.

But most importantly, I didn’t drink. I am still sober today.

I cut off that stream of negative thoughts and refocused my energies on being grateful that I was sitting there waiting for the locksmith sober. That this was just a small bump in the road and I was going to get past this just like everything else I’ve gotten through.