Rachael Madori: Advocating For Mental Health

Captain Jack Interviews Rachael Madori

I first interviewed Rachael about a year and a half ago and met her for the first time at the 2016 AVN. She is an absolutely beautiful person and we talked like we had known each other for 10 years. We’ve kept in touch over the past year or so. She retired from the industry in December to pursue her dream of opening a restaurant. Rachael has an important story to tell and I thought it was important to get it out there.

Rachael Madori

Captain Jack: You are now a mental health advocate. What does that all entail?

Rachael Madori: It started with me volunteering with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. That was just handing out water bottles at different events and stuff…very minimal. After that I got involved in putting on their Campus Walks then I started advocating and raising money. That’s one organization I work with and there’s also NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Working with these two organizations means I’m fund raising, volunteering and helping with community outreach to get the word out about mental health. I’ve also recently been given the opportunity to be the Social Media Marketer for the AFSP Los Angeles chapter. My biggest thing is getting people to talk about mental health. Everyone will talk about cancer or diabetes and all these other diseases but when it comes to mental health, people think the solution is to “be happy.” As an advocate, my goal is to get the conversation out there and get it more noticed.

CJ: Let’s start at the beginning, you are diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, when did you notice there was something wrong?

Rachael: I’m diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder and I’ve also been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. The funny things is I was just diagnosed a few months ago. But now, in hindsight, when did things start going south? When I was about 12 years old but I didn’t notice that then. Even up until my last suicide attempt, 2 years ago, I didn’t really think anything was wrong. It wasn’t until I started seeing this pattern of 10-12 years of strange behavior that somebody finally said that I needed to be seeing someone. Volunteering is great and all but I needed to see an actual professional. I never even considered that I had a mental illness. I was a suicide survivor, I knew that, but that’s it.

CJ: You didn’t see anyone professionally until you were 24?

Rachael: I never saw a mental health professional when I was younger, when I was cutting, when I attempted suicide…I never considered it and I was never guided to see a mental health professional. There was a decade with so many obvious symptoms. I’m not angry at anyone for not helping but that’s why I do what I do now. One of the cool things about AFSP is they set up a tent at Warped Tour, a music festival that draws a lot of teens. I’m excited to head that event so I can reach some kids that may be going through what I was at that age. Maybe, when I was 15, maybe if I saw an American Foundation for Suicide Prevention booth I could have gone up to them and said something. But I grew up in a time and a society where we didn’t talk about it. I never even saw a school counselor about it. There was some very, very severe stuff. Not just anxiety, some severe signs that nobody knew were signs.

CJ: When were you originally diagnosed, did they diagnose you correctly right away or did they think it was something else?

Rachael: I have seen 3 different doctors, some on the east coast, some on the west coast. And all 3 of them diagnosed me exactly the same, I wanted to get a bunch of different opinions. I think it’s because I have a grasp of my symptoms now and I’m very good at explaining what goes on after the fact. I don’t know what’s happening when it’s happening, when I have an episode. When I sat down with the doctor for the first time, I had 10 years of symptoms to talk to them about and because of that and because everything was so textbook Bipolar and Borderline they all knew what it was. I remember my first visit with my first doctor, I sat down and literally explained the past 10 years of my life and the symptoms which I had been keeping track of. He said “I can’t even believe that you’re still alive right now”. I wasn’t misdiagnosed at all. It was made clear I need to  be seeing someone regularly. And that shocked me. When I got the diagnosis, I knew I was going to be diagnosed eventually, but part of me thought I might have a little bit of anxiety or something like that. I was still being brainwashed by society. Part of me still thought it wasn’t real. But when I got the email and got the paper and everything was written down, I was like “Fuck. This is real.” It sucks but at the same time I like knowing what’s wrong. I have something to advocate for and something to fight against.

And it makes it easier for my fiancé because my relationships have been very unstable my whole life and I’m so happy that him and I are still together. The different symptoms of both diseases can destroy relationships. Now that I have that knowledge and he knows as well, he can sit me down, which he has, and say “Sit down, you’re having an episode”. Whereas a few years ago everything would blow up into a huge fight. Neither of us knew what was going on. But now we both have the knowledge.

CJ: What happens when you have an episode?

Rachael: It depends. I’m Bipolar meaning that I switch between emotions really quickly for no reason at all. Going from happy to sad to angry to excited to angry. The switches happen quickly and for no rhyme or reason. I get depressed and suicidal or I get manic and uncontrollable. With Borderline my emotions are irrational and pushed to their fullest extent. If I’m happy, I’m euphoric. If I’m angry, I’m violent and so on. I suffer from paranoia and dissociation, feeling like I’m outside of my body and watching it do things I can’t control. I remember one of the symptoms when I got manic was I would go look for fights. I was a 17-year old girl and I would go driving into the Bronx looking for fights because I thought nothing could hurt me. On the other end of the spectrum if I get sad, I don’t get sad, I get severely depressed where I can’t get out of bed in the morning. All episodes are different. The best way to explain it is if you picture a straight line, that’s your baseline emotion. People have their ups, they’re happy, then little dips, they’re down. A very typical episode, which happened a couple of days ago, I was normal and then I got really, really happy. I could feel it happening and I wanted to spend a lot more money than normal. I was going to adopt a dog on a whim. That’s also a give and take. If I’m going up, then I’ll go down the same amount. Then I dropped below that baseline and I was really depressed. Then I switched and got really sad and started crying. Then I switched again and got very angry. That all happened within a couple hour period. My fiancé saw what was happening and sat me down. He had me do my meditation exercises. It’s scary. The only way I can describe it is when I’m having mood swings like that, it feels like there’s a bunch of different personalities inside me. That’s called fragmentation which is probably the most terrifying thing. Who the fuck am I going to be when I wake up in the morning? Am I going to be ok or am I going to be someone else? It’s weird describing the feeling where there is no normal and you’re constantly teetering on the next emotion or the next mood swing.

Rachael Madori

CJ: So the medication doesn’t help this at all?

Rachael: This is a sore point for a lot of people who are mental health advocates, I’m not against prescription drugs. I know they help Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder. I have family members who are also diagnosed and are on prescriptions that help them and I am truly thankful for that. But my personal conviction is that I don’t want to be on them because I’ve found something that works with my mind, body and soul. There are a lot of side effects with prescriptions. But I still need a treatment program and I still need medication. I advocate for psychedelic medicine. LSD, Psilocybin, MDMA – they’ve all been proven to help with addiction, depression and mention illness. The only reason they’re not being researched more is because of the government, they’re still Schedule 1 drugs. I advocate and donate to the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). They help facilitate scientific research in psychedelics and marijuana.

I do have to be on medication but my medication is psychedelics. I microdose every 3 days which is a minuscule, unnoticeable, amount of the psychedelic. It makes connections in my brain that my brain can’t make because of the diseases. Then I do a heavy trip where I’m fully immersed in the spiritual experience and physical affects of the psychedelic for 6-12 hours. I do that once every 30 days. That helps with the mood swings, it helps regulate me and it helps regulate the serotonin in my brain. It also makes that feeling of fragmentation come back together and I’m able to feel whole again. When you think about all the false and negative propaganda about weed for decades and how people are just now starting to realize it was all lies and fear, it is the same exact case with psychedelics and all the ancient medicines.

CJ: You mentioned that the last time you tried to commit suicide was 2 years ago. How many times have you attempted it and what have you done?

Rachael: I’ve attempted it 5 times starting at the age of 14. When I was 14, you watch movies but you don’t know how to do it, so I took a bottle of aspirin and drank it with a bottle of vodka. I woke up extremely, extremely sick the next day. When I was 16, I took my mom’s .357 revolver and went out to the woods to try to shoot myself. I couldn’t work the revolver properly. When I was 17, I tried to jump into traffic but my boyfriend at the time stopped me. And when I was 19, I paid a drug dealer to shoot me up with heroin. I had never done heroin before so I just told him to keep doing it until I passed out. I woke up from that and I was sick for 3 days, which is the most horrible experience ever. Heroin is fucking disgusting. That was the worst feeling that I’ve ever experienced; waking up from a heroin overdose. And then 2 years ago, I cut my wrists in my kitchen and my fiancé came in and found me. He tied a tourniquet around my arm and got me to the hospital and they stitched me up.

CJ: The last time, obviously the hospital knew what you tried to do. Did they put you in a psych ward or try to get you some help?

Rachael: I’m well aware that they’re not stupid and I’m well aware that they knew what I had done but they can’t admit you unless you admit to trying to kill yourself. I begged Zak not to tell them because I didn’t want to get admitted…I was still at the point where I thought I was fine. Even there, bleeding out, I still thought that I was fine and this wouldn’t happen again even though it had happened 4 previous times but different methods. I told them I was cleaning a pint glass in my kitchen and the glass shattered. They kept asking if I did that to myself and I kept denying it. I went home the same night.

CJ: On Twitter just last week, you posted that deep down inside, you have a feeling that you will be a suicide victim someday.

Rachael: I don’t know if it’s me speaking statistically wise or just me….I know it sounds kind of morbid but it’s in the back of my head. I’ve spoken to Zak about it; I’ve spoken to my family about it. Maybe not 100% but there is always something in the back of my head that if I’m going to go, the odds are against me at that point. I feel like if I’m going to die early, if I’m not going to die of old age, that’s what’s going to take me out. I don’t say that people commit suicide and I don’t say they killed themselves because they didn’t. They died by suicide, they died because of a disease. 90% of all people who commit suicide have a mental disease at the time of their death. Honestly, it sounds depressing but it doesn’t really upset me. I do everything in my power to not relapse on self harm and do everything in my power to keep myself engaged. I have so much more knowledge now so when I do feel suicidal I am able to go somewhere and admit myself or tell someone to keep me safe.

When I’m at that situation where I’m trying to kill myself, I’m not in control of that feeling. I know there are people who do make the choice and do kill themselves but in my personal case, when I try to kill myself, it’s not a choice by any means. It’s not like I consciously think “I’m going to do this because I want to kill myself”. It’s a complete out of body experience. It happens and that’s all there is to it. I guess I was a little down when I tweeted that but, to be honest, it’s not like it’s a far off situation. I want to stand up and say “I will never kill myself! There’s no chance of that ever happening!” but I can’t. I’ve been dealing with this for 10 plus years. I can’t say there’s no shot of this ever happening. I’m going to fight the hardest I can fight but it doesn’t mean it’s never going to happen to me. That doesn’t mean I’m going to give up. I’ll do everything in my power to keep myself safe. I have contingency plans for when my brain fails me. But there’s always going to be a part of me in the back of my head. I have a piece of my brain that doesn’t work properly. I have to recognize that and I have to admit it.

CJ: Is there anything else that people should know?

Rachael: I think my biggest thing is I particularly like to work with kids and I especially like to work with teenagers and high school students. I think that’s a huge area where all this stuff starts to manifest and the symptoms start. There are too many kids who say they’re sad or they want to kill themselves or they want to hurt themselves. And people just say “Oh, it’s hormones” or “It’s just high school stuff” or “You’re going through a hard time”. If I’m going to say anything, and this goes for adults as well, take this shit seriously. Because if you think about it, if a grown ass adult would come to you and say they wanted to hurt themselves, who does anything? To be completely honest, I’ve done that and people just say, “Oh, well….don’t do that”. No one takes that seriously. My biggest thing is that you never know what’s going on inside someone’s head and I think the most important thing is to just be a fellow human to everyone else. Be genuinely concerned for your loved ones and your friends and be just as concerned for complete strangers. Like the saying, it takes a village. Everybody needs to be in on mental health for there to be an impact on mental health. It’s great that people are getting educated on it but everybody has to be a part of it.

CJ: Especially when a kid says something like that. He actually has the balls to talk to someone about it and they just blow him off. The next time he feels that, he’ll just say, ‘Screw it.’

Rachael: Exactly. You’re just going to go do it. There have been so many times when people knew I was trying to kill myself and no one did anything. No one ever did anything. Everyone always told me it’s because I’m a girl. It’s because you’re upset over a boy or you’re going through puberty or you’re on your period. Seriously, I was very sick. Constantly self-mutilating and everyone around me told me it was because I was because I was emotional…they just kept giving me all these excuses. But for some reason, some crazy reason, the fact that I was sick never came to mind. That was 10 years ago and now I feel it’s very different because I feel it’s been making progress. Younger kids and even adults will now go to a professional. They are given resources. Part of me is pissed about it and, of course, I want everybody to get healthy and happy, but there’s still a kid in me that wonders why it couldn’t be that way when I was younger. The way I always put it now is I went through years of really, really dark, dark places but that’s more years now in my future that I can try to do something positive. So I get 50 more years of my life to compensate for those painful times and turn them into something beautiful. I’ll sacrifice a decade of my life if I can help one person. I want to turn all the bad shit into something good. There’s no fucking point in the past 12 years of turmoil if I don’t do something good with it.

CJ: You’re a beautiful person.

Rachael: Aww, thank you.

CJ: I just feel so bad for you, you’re such a sweetheart!

Rachael: Oh my God! Don’t’ feel bad for me! I got this. Trust me. There’s plenty of other people you can feel bad for. I was talking to this girl at work, I was explaining things to her. She was interested that I advocate for psychedelic medicines. She said she just feels bad for me. I don’t know what’s going to happen every day when I wake up but I’m at the point now where it’s manageable, which is nice. It still gets bad but I remember how bad it was before. It’s very time consuming and it’s imperative that I can keep to a very strict self-care regimen. I have this app where I track my mood. Twice a day it asks me for my mood and on a scale of 1-10 I give a mood. At the end of the week, I can track what was going on with my shifts. I stay on a strict schedule with my microdosing. I do things which seem normal to anyone else but they’re important for me to monitor. Like I have to wake up and take a shower in the morning. That’s imperative. If I wake up and I’m not able to do that, it’s a red flag. Something is shifting negatively in my brain when I can’t bring myself to get out of bed. There are these little things that I have to do every day because it’s called self-care and it’s very important I stick to. It’s important that I keep working out, it’s very important for me to eat very healthy. I have to keep everything in line because I have a fucked up brain. I’m good and I’m lucky. If I was doing this alone, I don’t think I’d be able to do it. I’d probably be back home with my family. I don’t think I’d be able to do this on my own but I am so lucky to have a partner that is open to being a part of my self-care. He’s a part of my treatment plan. I’m very, very lucky to have someone.

CJ: Now that you know what’s actually wrong, are you having less frequent episodes?

Rachael: They still happen. Sometimes I know when it’s happening, sometimes I don’t. I don’t think they happen less frequently but I think they are shorter and more manageable because I’m not in the dark anymore about how my brain functions incorrectly. Still though, it would be very strange for me to be in the middle of an episode and be able to realize that I’m in the middle of an episode. That’s why it’s difficult to comprehend and explain because whatever reality my brain decides for me, that is my reality. Let’s say I had a manic episode where I was shopping at the mall and I was hyper, talking fast, I could stay up all night and be very euphoric like I was high, but I would believe I had always been like that my whole life. Of course, Zak would say that it wasn’t me and I would get very defensive. Once it’s over and I look back at it, it’d be like, “What the fuck? Why would I think that was my reality?” But at least I have a better chance of recognizing it now. I have a more knowledgeable support system that can help me when I’m going through something.

CJ: You said you like working with kids and young adults. Are you afraid that once they find out about your porn career, that might end? Does that concern you?

Rachael: No, not really. A lot of kids read my blog and they never brought it up. Whether they know or not, it’s not an issue to me. If I ever get asked about it, it’s not an issue to me. A lot of people at my current job and people that I volunteer with know that I used to do porn. When you start public speaking and you’re open about it so I don’t shy away from it. Young kids, I’m not going to lie to them but I’m also not going to explain to them what I did for a living. The worlds are not related so it doesn’t come up much. If you read my blog, you know, so there’s no questioning. It’s a job. I loved it. And I have nothing bad to say about being a sex worker. I want it to be more accepted. It doesn’t matter what I do, I’m going to defend the industry because the industry did nothing but good things for me.

CJ: Is your goal still to open your own restaurant in New York?

Rachael: Yes. Yes it is. I’m in college right now getting my Hotel and Restaurant Management Degree. I am being trained at a fine dining restaurant in Hollywood currently and I plan on being here for a year. Then go back to New York to get a second degree in Culinary Management. Owning a restaurant is probably 5 to 10 years out. Basically, from this point on, it’s me doing everything possible in the culinary industry to get the knowledge, to get the connections I need, to get the experience I need and the investors to open a place one day.

Rachael Madori

CJ: When you got into porn, you weren’t yet diagnosed. Did the industry help you or hurt you or didn’t it have any affect?

Rachael: I think the benefit of it was that I wasn’t on a work schedule. If there was something bad going on or I was having an episode, which didn’t happen a lot at work, I could just take the day and not be around anyone. I can only recall one shoot where, mentally, I couldn’t do it and had to leave. I think it helped in the fact that it gave me such an open schedule. I had free time and it’s not like I had to wake up and be somewhere at 8am, 5 days a week. That would be very difficult to do when you didn’t know what was going on with your brain. Like now, I’m working 70 hours a week, 5 days a week. I have to be there. And I have to make sure I’m on point mentally. So I think it helped that I had a looser schedule. I don’t think it hurt at all. If anything, it helped because when I started I was very quiet and a lot more drawn back. I wasn’t as outspoken. The longer I was in the industry, the more I grew a backbone, the more I learned to take care of myself and the more I learned to respect myself. I got more confident about who I was mentally and physically. I finally found my voice. And my voice is “Fuck all of you, this is me”. I think it honestly benefitted me more than anything.

I remember distinctly when I was a lot more open about having a mental illness there were a lot of people that said “Of course you were in porn because you have a mental illness” or “Of course you were a sex worker because you have mental problems”. There’s a stigma in the adult industry of people who are struggling with a mental illness like depression or mood swings or whatever. I feel like, in the porn industry, it might be even more difficult to come out and talk about it. People are going to relate the two. “That makes sense, you’re Bipolar and you did porn, that makes sense because you’re sick”. That’s the correlation. It’s fucked up. I think it’s very important to separate those. Those are not interchangeable. This interview is going to go out and people in the industry will read it. All I can say is if you need to talk to someone, your mental health is key. Everyone in the industry is so beautiful but what I would encourage is that they put just as much care into their mental being as they put into their physical being. Put just as much care into your brain. If anyone wants to reach out to me personally, I’m always available.

CJ: I, and most people in the industry, consider Mark Spiegler the best agent in the business. What did he do for your career and, more importantly, your life?

Rachael: No one in the industry knew what I was dealing with. I didn’t talk to anyone about it. He helped my career, obviously. He was amazing and he’s so recognized in the industry. It was important to me to be represented by him. Whatever industry I was in, I was trying to achieve the most I can. Career-wise he was amazing and personal-wise he’s such an awesome dude. I only have nice things to say about him. I wasn’t very close to anyone in the industry. I would hang out with a couple of people personally but it never went much farther than just chillin’. I don’t make friends with people I work with, which sounds kind of shitty but no one in the industry knew what I deal with and what I’m going through. You’re having sex with these people and I think it’s better to keep a happy, casual environment. I think that’s just more beneficial to the product. Porn’s not an industry where I have to be sharing all these intimate details about my brain. But I was so glad that I was with him for a year and he was my last representative before I left. It’s nice, it’s cool being able to say I was a Spiegler Girl. People outside the industry don’t know what that means but still. I called my mom and yelled “Mom, I’m a Spiegler Girl!” It was awesome. I don’t regret it whatsoever. A lot of people I work with now know what I used to do. I didn’t tell anyone until I busted my ass and proved that I am good at what I do in the restaurant industry but I’ll always be proud to have been a Spiegler Girl.

CJ: Last year, you texted me a link to your Hardcore Gangbang. During the pop, you held your eyes open so you could feel the burn. That’s something you can’t fake. You really liked that. How will you get that ‘fix’ now that you’re not doing porn?

Rachael: It’s really funny because I was talking to one of my current co-workers about that. He googled me because he was curious and it scarred him because he personally knows me on a different level and has sisters my age. Now he has this personal connection and he saw that and he’s all fucked up in his head. A lot of people have asked me about that and if they made me do that. That was per my request. They asked “What do you want us to do? How do you want us to do this shot?” I said “I’m going to run to the bathroom and take my contacts out, get a bottle of saline and wait for me right off set. I want every single one of you to cum in my eyes because that’s fucking rad!” I wanted it! It’s weird, people are going to look at it and say “That’s fucking gross” and I like that. I like fucking with people’s heads. So it’s funny that I was just talking to somebody about that the other day. He said, “I googled how hardcore you were and I didn’t expect to see the shit I saw. You’re fucking crazy” And I said “Yes. I am.”

Fix-wise, I don’t see it as a fix. I love that crazy stuff and I love doing that. I do it with my fiancé, I love bringing girls over because I love both sexes. I’m a very sexual person but porn brought out even a lot more sexual energy than I suppressed because I thought, as a woman, I shouldn’t have all those things going on in my head. I think it comes down to an internal sense of satisfaction. If I’m internally satisfied with myself and my sex life with my partner, there’s none of that “I need to do this!” or “I need to do that!” Me and him are connected to a point where if I want to do any crazy shit, he’s gonna say “OK, let’s do it!” But if I don’t feel like it that’s alright too. A lot of people ask me about going from a pornstar and fucking 30 people in a week to being with Zak but I’m at this point where not even porn could satisfy me the way the love of my life does. And that’s a deeper connection that transcends the physical act of sex.

CJ: And how can the fans get ahold of you?

Rachael: On Twitter and Instagram, I’m @RachaelMadori and my blog is RachaelMadori.com. Also add me on SnapChat at AELKAL

Rachael Madori

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2 Comments
  1. Rachael Madori is a charming and romantic girl : she is precious like a diamond. I love women like her.

  2. I’m close to someone with bipolar and her words ring pretty true. Even the medication thing, a lot of people are going to scream at her for that, but in my experience meds’ effectiveness vastly varies from person to person. Some respond better to life planning and behavioral therapy.

    Anyway, I wish Rachel luck in her future endeavors. Thanks for the great scenes, you were a killer.

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