<p>Is the subject unique to you? Did this have a true impact on you? Were there things in your life that have changed for the better that you can point back to that moment? I do not need, nor deserve these answers, however this is what you should be asking yourself. I do not think it is cliche if you do not paint yourself as a 'CBS Afterschool Special'.
The key, I am finding, with the essay is to show, not tell, an aspect about yourself. If you are unsure, ask a friend you trust if it sounds like you. Not the 'you' writing for a grade, but the 'you' they know. Then ask someone you trust, but don't know too well, perhaps a friends parent or an adult at your church group to read it. Ask them what they think the message is. Is it the one you were trying to send? Ask a trusted person at your Al Anon group to read it and get their opinion.
From these you will get several perspectives and get an idea if the essay conveys the message you want.</p>