An hour of frustrating work with VERY tiny reward at first is standard. & as you can see, you are not the first,,, not the last either.
Take your time, follow the above suggestions & put that key ring on as soon as you have a loop clear! If you don't have a key ring, tie on a sturdy piece of cord to prevent this from happening again, & it will happen again unless you take precautions.
The good news is, it is fixable!