Dear Paw Prints~
Perhaps I asked the question in a clumsy way, my apologies.
You mentioned "I can now believe in a future". "If you had asked me 5 years ago would I be as well as I am now I would have thought it impossible as I couldn’t envision a future ... "
When I've been in that situation I've regarded this as a great deal of encouragement. Maybe I have only small goals and I admit when down it is a set of thoughts that are hard to hang on to. Nevertheless at the other times I've known it is progress and there was no reason why it could not continue.
If you have not seen it already A Grace's thread:
SELF HELP TIPS FOR MANAGING DEPRESSION
can be useful, there is a companion thread for Anxiety too.
As for goalposts moving, so they should. When depression is at its worst small every day acts (maybe getting out of bed) seem too difficult to even contemplate, and if one does manage to do so it is a win, a victory. At that stage the goalposts were getting up. As one improves they may be showering, dressing and breakfast. Later interacting with others and not having to retreat. Finding life is a little bigger then the view the blinkers of depression set for you.
You have listed your ultimate aim, "I will one day be able to manage the everyday things like housework, caring for myself & caring for my dog & maybe, just maybe I will even be able to enjoy myself."
To get there is a series of steps, or at least it was for me. Even your use of Word indicates to me resourcefulness, an ability so to see how others go, and sense.
You talked before about emotionally not believing. That is one reason I believe in self-reward, things to try to enjoy, even if only because you have enjoyed them before. If the reason to keep going is a a chocolate later on, or a book, or a walk or grooming the dog or whatever you can think of for you, then that is a great thing. I believe the mind does respond in time.